Why Businesses Must Destroy Their Documents

Why Businesses Must Destroy Their Documents
  • Opening Intro -

    Business and paperwork are synonymous because you can’t have one without the other.

    Running a business is no easy feat, and massive accumulations of paperwork are prone to take up a residency in the corner of your office.


If you have ever-expanding office space to keep all your documents comfortably, you might never have to worry. Unfortunately, that is not a possibility just yet, which is why businesses must destroy their documents.


Many businesses find themselves in a state of limbo when it comes to documents—to keep or throw them away is the question. Retaining documents forever gives businesses a sense of a job well done because they know the private information is at least somewhere in the office.

However, so long as businesses continue to grow, there is less space to store these items, which results in increasing preservation costs. When retaining documents is more trouble than it’s worth, it becomes an issue of practicality.


So what happens when it is no longer practical to keep certain documents, but the information is of a personal and private nature? Simply tossing it into the trash can result in fines from the Federal Trade Commission.

That is because the FTC enforces strict privacy and security laws to protect the confidentiality of consumer information. As such, there are certain guidelines for the correct discarding of sensitive information.


These guidelines are what we know as the Disposal Rules, which apply to big and small businesses that use consumer reports. There is no particular way the FTC requires you to dispose of information.

However, you must take reasonable measures to ensure data cannot be practically read or reconstructed. Burn, shred, or pulverize—the choice is yours. This is vitally important because businesses can be held legally liable for the incorrect disposal of consumer information.

That is why businesses must destroy their documents, as it protects against unauthorized access to or use of consumer reports.


When companies choose to dispose of their private information, they will usually hire a professional shredding service. Relying on employees for disposal can result in a myriad of issues, including unauthorized access, identity fraud, and wasting of company time.

Employing a third-party service ensures that your information is in the hands of professionals who have no ulterior motives. Moreover, they know what they are doing, which is especially important should you have private information on technological devices; a right-click and delete doesn’t cut it.

Shredding companies understand just how important it is to destroy information accurately. Finally, they also provide you with a crucial document known as a Certificate of Destruction.


The company will send you a certificate of destruction through mail or email that confirms the destruction of your documents in extensive detail. Often on these certificates, you will find the truck’s serial number, the time, date, location, and the signatures of witnesses to the disposal.

This certificate is important because it protects your business against any fines or audits that may occur. With your certificate, you can show that you took extra-careful measures to destroy consumer information in the safest ways.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock royalty-free image #71094386

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