Developing an Inventory List

When it comes to protecting your business equipment, a detailed list of what you own is essential. Not only does a list of belongings help you assess how much property insurance you need, but it’s also the most valuable tool you’ll have when a disaster strikes and you need to settle your insurance claim quickly and accurately.

Most business owners keep track of inventory, but few update their inventory lists regularly and even fewer store them in a safe place. Take steps to update your list regularly and keep it secure. Include descriptions of each item, the serial number, manufacturer, purchase price, and the date of purchase. Attach copies of receipts and photographs of the equipment if possible.

If you store the list on your computer network, restrict access to the list with password protection. And make sure that multiple copies are stored offsite. Even if you use a Wed-based records management service, give an electronic copy of your list to your attorney, bookkeeper, or insurance agent. Another option is to copy the list to a disk and store it — along with a hard copy — in a safe-deposit box. Either way, you should feel confident that the list is safe and will be easy to access when you need it.