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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: business records checks: critical definitions: basic record keeping requirements

Customers’ business records will generally reflect the size and complexity of their business and may range from the simplest of manual records for a sole trader to a sophisticated computerised system in a larger company.

The records do not have to be in any particular format. However, an appropriate system should be in place to identify all:

  • business monies in (receipts)
  • business monies out (expenses) and
  • goods purchased and sold, for businesses trading in goods.

If a business has sufficient records to meet the above criteria, it will have the necessary statutory records. We would describe such business records as ‘adequate’ see COG940275.