Not all storage facilities give you the same options

Of course as a starter you will want a clean, dry and secure document storage space.  That’s a given. But what else might you want?

Well, it is not a bad idea also to have an individually locked, clean, dry and secure document storage room for your own exclusive use.  That suddenly makes storage a lot less difficult.

Our document storage units range from a 9sq ft locker to the size of a mini warehouse, with all the sizes in between. So you can choose your own space, and pay for the storage space you use.

Then of course you will need racking. We give you that absolutely free of charge, so you will always have quick and easy access to your documents.

Next up there is the issue of security and confidentiality. Admiral Document Storage provides internal and external CCTV which is monitored and recorded by a security guard when the document storage centre is closed, and by our own staff during opening hours.

We can even (if you wish) come to your offices to place your records into archive document boxes.  And (again if you wish) collect your documents.  In all cases archive files will be provided free of charge.

Then, should you choose to leave your key at our facility, we can access your archive document storage room and deliver individual files or complete archive document boxes to any location.

You just telephone, e-mail or fax an archive box number and/or file name, destination address and contact name and leave the rest to us. Alternatively you or your authorised representative can access your document storage room as often as you wish, free of charge.

Now, you might think that there can’t be much more available by way of services surrounding archive storage.  But there is.

If you need to view your records at our document storage facility you will have free use of a heated, carpeted room with a table and seating for up to six people, refreshments are available in the reception area.

Last there might come the moment when files are not required any more.  Even then we can help by offering secure shredding of unwanted files and documents in accordance with Data Protection Act rules.

Beware the VAT man commeth


The VAT man will ask you to keep a lot of records.  But there are reasons for keeping even more!


If you are registered for VAT, you must keep certain business records and VAT records of your sales and purchases. You must also keep a separate summary of your VAT, called a ‘VAT account’.

And you have to keep them all for six years.  After that technically you don’t have to keep all the detailed records but it is certainly wise to keep as much as you can.

The reason for this caution is easy to understand. Most companies show trends in the way they trade, with occasional events in between. To give a simple example, you might spend £300 a month on envelopes and paper, but maybe once every couple of years you spend a lot more on this in order to do a large promotional mailing.

Or maybe you produce commemorative mugs and the like. You have a regular level of purchase but each time there is a royal event you spend an awful lot more.

Now you can explain all this to the VAT inspector, but if the VAT inspector feels there is something amiss, he/she may not believe you. In that case if you can go back further in your history you will be able to show other “special events” of a similar type, and that might help you persuade the inspector that all is well.

There is no set way of keeping these records and accounts. In most cases they can be easily adapted from your normal business records. The main thing is to ensure that they are complete and up to date and that it is easy for VAT officers to access them when you have a VAT inspection.

Which is why some firms choose to have a lot of extra records – just in case.

Such regulations, and the natural caution of any company that has ever had cause to deal with Revenue and Customs over a VAT matter mean that companies tend to keep more and more data, including…

  • annual accounts, including profit and loss accounts
  • bank statements and paying-in slips
  • cash books and other account books
  • orders and delivery notes
  • purchase and sales books
  • records of daily takings such as till rolls
  • relevant business correspondence

But that’s only the start because in general, you must keep the following VAT records:

  • Records of all the standard-rated, reduced-rated, zero-rated and exempt goods and services that you buy or sell.
  • Copies of all sales invoices you issue. Except: if you are a retailer you do not have to keep copies of any less detailed VAT invoices for items under £250 including VAT – unless your customer has asked for a VAT invoice.
  • All purchase invoices for items you buy.
  • All credit notes and debit notes you receive.
  • Copies of all credit notes and debit notes you issue.
  • Any self-billing agreements you make as a supplier.
  • Copies of self-billing agreements you make as a customer and name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier.
  • Records of any goods you give away or take from stock for your private use including rate and amount of VAT.
  • Records of any goods or services bought for which you cannot reclaim the VAT, such as business entertainment.
  • Any documents dealing with special VAT treatment, such as reliefs or zero-rating by certificate.
  • Records of any goods you export.
  • Records of any taxable self-supplies you make – for example if you sell cars and you use one of your cars in stock for business purposes.
  • Any adjustments such as corrections to your accounts or amended VAT invoices.

Six years worth of all that lot means a lot of room is taken up.  Which is why a significant number of companies choose to keep their VAT records with Admiral Document Storage. 

If you would like to know more give us a call on 0800 810 1125.