Surprise! Archiving Email is Required by Law

… It’s been on since early 2000-s, and I am still coming across people that are genuinely surprised about it.

When was the last time you wrote a business letter? The keyword here is “wrote”. Most of our business communications and negotiations are now conducted by email – RFPs, POs, invoices, agreements, and employee memos are mostly handled via email. International clients and vendors prefer online communication to phone and traditional mail. It means we all have huge quantities of business emails that are connected to our business life. Archiving emails is a necessity – and not just for better paperwork management, but also for legal compliance.

Are you breaking the law by not archiving business emails?

You may be required by law to archive emails. Some industries have strict federal guidelines on storing email communications (financial institutions, for example). But what you may not realize is that your business – like any other business must comply with the Federal Regulations on Civil Procedures (FRCP). The amendments to the FRCP have been enforced for over 6 years now, since December 1, 2006. FRCP mandates that companies must be prepared for electronic discovery.  You – your company or organization –  must meet these requirements:

  • you must know where your business data is stored
  • you must know how to retrieve data on demand;
  • you must know how to meet data requests;
  • in addition it must determine what data will not be subject to search.

How does it affect your business?

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply to any organization that has the potential to be involved in litigation in the U.S. Federal Court system.

Organizations and businesses that do not have an automated backup system in place to help them effectively store, search and retrieve email data in real time may end up paying thousands of dollars or face paying high costs for data discovery procedures. Failure to produce the requested data, on time,  may lead to a loss of lawsuit, not to mention time, money, and, possibly even loss of your business.

Is your business compliant if you do Data Backup?

You will be surprised: NO, it is not enough. You also need an email archiving procedure, and it is not the same as email backup.

Backups and remote data storage are great for BDR process, but they only enable you to restore your data the last “copy” of it.

Archiving process, unlike backups, allows your data such as emails to be indexed and searchable. That means retrieving email messages based upon search criteria, such as email fields – to, from, subject, or by date, or presence of attachments, etc.

And that is why archiving for any business is a very important part of being compliant with FRCP regulations. In addition to being covered from the legal standpoint, archiving email is a smart thing to do: you never know how certain emails and history of communication exchange may play a role in the future.

So, let’s recap: why archive business emails? It will help you to:

  1. Be RFCP compliant. It will definitely be needed if your company is ever involved in a lawsuit.
  2. Improve your inbox and mail archiving maintenance process.
  3. Searching your mailbox better,  faster and easier

So, you want to start archiving your emails?

Talk to you IT Support company if you have not done so yet. If they cannot help you – or if you do not have one – we can assist: we are located in New Jersey, but are working with clients nationwide.

To overview or setup and email archiving solution for your business, give us a call at (855) 551-7760.


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