vital records

n. a record that documents significant life events, including births, deaths, marriages, and divorces a record necessary to begin recovery of business after a disaster, as well as a record necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of an organization

Notes

Both senses are usually used in the plural form. Vital records (2) typically document delegation of authority and lines of succession and include legal documents and contracts, financial records, and other documents that establish the rights and obligations of the organization, its employees and customers, stockholders, and citizens.