That Vital Document: Your Business Inventory

Have you created a business inventory for your small business yet? The business inventory is a record of business assets that helps you to estimate the value of assets for the purpose of reviewing business insurance California coverage. The inventory can be used as a checklist so that no item is overlooked if you need to file an insurance claim following a theft or fire, and it is an important document that supports your insurance claim.

There is no set format for your business inventory, so you are free to use whatever suits you best – a box file, exercise book, spread sheet or video recording.

Start by describing each item, and in the case of electrical and electronic equipment and machinery add its make, model and serial number. Also note the date of purchase and the purchase price. Attach documents such as purchase invoices and sales receipts, and for unusual or unique items you may find a photograph more useful than a verbal description.

Go through your business premises and find all of your assets including items that may be in drawers, cabinets or safes. Remember to include fixtures like air conditioning units or built-in furniture. Don’t forget assets that are kept away from the business premises, such as tools that are stored in a work van, or equipment that has been sent away for repair.

Having created your original business inventory, make a copy of it. Because the inventory will be needed if there is a disaster that causes damage at your business premises, store the two inventories in separate places so that there is always one record that can be used to support your business insurance California claim. Keep both the original and copy updated as you acquire or dispose of business assets.