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Saving Backup Paperwork for Your eBay Business

Taxes are inevitable. Uncle Sam expects you to keep your eBay records in order, and a wise businessperson always keeps backup records.

Business records are still mostly paper, and until such time as the entire world is electronic, you'll have some paperwork to store. You can buy manila file folders almost anywhere — at a reasonable price — so availability and expense aren't worthy excuses for lack of organization. If you don't have filing cabinets, office supply stores sell collapsible cardboard boxes that are the perfect size to hold file folders.

And just what do you need to file in your well-organized home business office? Here are a few important suggestions:

  • Equipment receipts and warranties: You never know when some important piece of your office hardware will go on the fritz, and you'll need the receipt and warranty information so you can get it fixed. Also, the receipts are backup documentation for your bookkeeping program's data.
  • Automobile expenses: Gasoline receipts, parking receipts, repairs — anything and everything to do with your car. You use your car in your eBay business (for example, to deliver packages to the post office for shipping), don't you?
  • Postal receipts: Little slips of paper that you get from the post office. If you use an online postage service, print a postage report once a month and file it in your filing cabinets or boxes as well.
  • Credit card bills: Here in one location can be documentation on your purchases for your business. Make a folder Merchandise receipts: Merchandise purchased for resale on eBay. Documentation of all the money you spend.
  • Licenses and legal stuff: Important! Keep an active file of anything legal; you will no doubt have to lay hands on this information at the oddest moment. It's reassuring to know where it is!
  • Payroll paperwork: Even if you print your checks and such on the computer, you should organize state and federal filing information in one place.
  • Canceled checks and bank statements: The only ways to prove you've paid for something.
  • Insurance information: Policies and insurance proposals should all be kept close by.

When you need the information quickly, and you can find it without breaking a sweat, you'll be glad you kept things organized.

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