The Neat Paper Filing Series Part 2: Business

Hi, Neatropolis! This is the second of the four-part blog series on organizing papers. In this blog, we will discuss organizing papers for your business. 

I thought this topic merits a separate blog because a business needs a comprehensive documentation. Much as I enjoy doing the services part of Neat Obsessions, I cannot leave the responsibilities of accounting and administration unattended. 

I write this blog with three years’ worth of knowledge in running Neat Obsessions as a small business. Different businesses have different requirements. But even if some of these may not be applicable to everyone, I hope that this still serves as a learning guide to you as you study your own process in your business, or as you’re planning to start a business of your own!  


Sort your business documents according to general categories:

  1. Employee Documents
  2. Supplier Documents
  3. Government Documents
  4. Client Documents


Let go of papers that don’t matter so you can deal with the current need of your business. In detaching from your business documents, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What requirements do I need to fulfill for my business every month? every quarter? every year?
  2. Which documents are not needed for these requirements? 
  3. Who can help me with my business documents? (Identify who is helping you in the business. In my case, the key persons helping me are my husband and my accountant. It’s my accountant who helps me identify the papers I need to keep and let go.)
  4. How do I streamline my process in terms of keeping papers? (My business is time based, so I need to keep a record of my staff’s time at work. Instead of me buying individual time cards, I have one daily record notebook so our timekeeping is efficient.) 

A Neat Reminder: Be cautious in disposing papers bearing personal information. Shred them and make sure that your full name, address, contact number, and other sensitive details such as bank account cannot be read anymore. Shift to digital. Digitize your documents for backup. Go for paperless options if possible, too! This is a great step in helping the environment and to minimize paper clutter in your home.


Establish a proper system (physical) and connect to your feeling of happiness (emotional).  

Identify your active and inactive files. Separating the two determines which files go where. Contracts are active files, while business permits and tax documents can be your inactive files since you don’t need to access it all the time.

Then, store them accordingly: 

Kinds of FilesStorage
ActiveHanging Folders
Accordion Envelope for Receipts
InactiveClear Folders

I didn’t start my business equipped with all the knowledge a small business owner needs. With the help of my husband, I learned how to manage all the ins and outs of the business, proper documentation and paper organization included. The biggest lesson that I learned in running Neat Obsessions as a business is to know and accept when I need help

My Business Documents
Receipts | Tax Documents | Business Documents
HR | Sales | Partnership | Other Business Documents

Your feeling of happiness should come from knowing that your business does not only have a streamlined paper filing system, it also has an efficient system that allows you to build a good relationship with the people you work with.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our series: organizing papers for your household!

Stay Neat, everyone!