Whether creating, growing or sustaining your side hustle, you probably have a lot of different documents you need to keep track of. While most of what we do is online, a few documents will still require safe storing of the hard copies. Knowing exactly where you store these important papers will come in handy if you ever need them.
To ensure these documents are kept safe, you can create a CYA file — known as a “Cover Your Ass” file — that keeps all your important items nestled away for you. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important documents you’ll want to keep in your CYA file.
While insurance remains one of those purchases we hope we never need to use, we want to make sure we know exactly where our information is if we ever have a crisis. Keep your insurance information in your CYA file as a helpful resource to you or anyone else who may need to access the information.
As the owner of a small business, you likely need to have a few different kinds of insurance depending on the industry you serve. Keep all your different insurance policies in one place and make sure the right employees know where they can find it.
Lease or Rental Agreements
Whether renting office space, a store front or even equipment to help run your business, you want to keep your leasing and rental documents safely in one place. Not only will these prove necessary if you have a problem with your landlord or the owner of the equipment, but you’ll also want to access them to understand your rights.
If you had to pay any fees to use the equipment or space, you will want to keep records of this as well. Each time you make a rental payment, keep a copy of your check or receipt to back up that you paid that month. If you find yourself in a disagreement over a missed payment or late check, you have the files to back up your claims.
Important Legal Documents
When you start a business, you should quickly learn the importance of storing legal documents you’ll need to access periodically. From your formation papers to documents outlining any rules, processes or agreements that you have with other founders and business owners, you’ll want to make sure you have a hard copy of these documents located in your CYA file.
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to draft buyout agreements with your other founders just in case you no longer wish to work together. Having these documents created and waiting in a file can help you get through any issues without serious complications.
Debt and Bill Payments
It is natural for businesses to have a bit of debt. However, if you want to pay it off and get out of debt efficiently, you need to track how much you have left and how much you’re spending. This information will also be important when tax season comes around and you need to back up your expenses.
Keep copies of any receipts, payments on your debt and what your current balance is. If it is easier to keep your eye on this information with a software program or spreadsheet, print off documents every so often so you have a hard copy. Store that hard copy in your CYA file.
If you have employees for your side hustle, you’ll want to keep information about employees located in your CYA file. Important details, such as the day they were hired, their salary and their employment agreement should all remain on file to access when needed. You’ll also want to include important insurance information, such as their health insurance and benefits.
Make sure you have records of each of your employees. You may also need to keep files on past employees once they have gone. Knowing where this information is can help you stay organized anytime you need to access these details.
When growing your side hustle into a flourishing business, you will most likely come across a lot of documents and paperwork. While some of them can get tossed in the trash as soon as you’re done with them, others will need to be kept in a safe place. With your “Cover Your Ass” file, you can guarantee to have everything you need if you ever run into any issues.
These are only a few of the documents you may need to keep hard copies of. If you come across anything important, it is best to use your own judgment to determine whether or not you should add it to your file.
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