Intangible Definition – Intangible Assets & Business Valuation
As businesses grow and expand, the value of their assets grows along with them. While physical assets such as equipment and property are easy to identify and value, it’s important not to overlook the value of intangible assets as well. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the intangible definition, the importance of valuing intangible assets, and the challenges associated with valuing them.
What are Intangible Assets?
Intangible assets are non-physical assets that are valuable to a company. These can include things like intellectual property, brand recognition, copyrights, customer lists, and even employee knowledge and expertise. While intangible assets don’t have a physical presence, they can be just as valuable as tangible assets, if not more so. For example, a company’s brand reputation can be a major factor in its success and profitability.
Why Do Intangible Assets Need to be Valued?
Valuing intangible assets is essential for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it helps companies understand the true value of their assets and can be useful for a number of purposes.
Valuing intangible assets is important for financial reporting purposes. In many cases, companies are required to report the value of their intangible assets on their financial statements. This information is used by investors, creditors, and other stakeholders to assess the company’s financial health and to make informed decisions about whether to invest in the company or extend credit to it.
One of the main reasons that intangible assets need to be valued for financial reporting purposes is to ensure that the company’s financial statements accurately reflect the value of the company’s assets. This is important for a number of reasons, including compliance with accounting standards and regulations, and to ensure that financial statements are free from material misstatements or omissions.
Valuing intangible assets is also important for tax purposes. In many cases, companies can claim tax deductions for the amortization or depreciation of their intangible assets. However, in order to do so, they need to be able to accurately value these assets. If a company overvalues its intangible assets, it could lead to a lower tax liability than it is entitled to, which could result in penalties and interest charges.
In addition to financial reporting and tax purposes, valuing intangible assets is also important for internal decision-making purposes. By accurately valuing their intangible assets, companies can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and invest in their operations. For example, they may choose to invest in a particular product line or market segment based on the value of their brand recognition or customer relationships in that area.
Why Are Intangible Assets Harder to Value Than Tangible Assets?
While valuing tangible assets is relatively straightforward, valuing intangible assets is much more challenging. One reason for this is that there are often no clear market prices for intangible assets, making it difficult to determine their value. Additionally, the value of intangible assets can be highly subjective and may depend on a wide range of factors, such as market conditions, competitive landscape, and industry trends.
Valuing intangible assets often requires the expertise of professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in business valuation. These professionals can use a variety of methods to value intangible assets, including cost, income, and market-based approaches.
Over the past few decades, the total value of companies has shifted from being primarily based on tangible assets to intangible assets. This shift is largely due to the changing nature of the economy, as many businesses are now focused on knowledge and information-based activities rather than physical goods. As a result, intangible assets such as intellectual property, customer relationships, and brand recognition have become increasingly important for businesses. In fact, recent studies have found that intangible assets now account for a larger percentage of the total value of companies than tangible assets. This shift in value has important implications for how companies are valued and how they manage their assets, and underscores the importance of properly valuing and managing intangible assets.
In conclusion, intangible assets are an important component of a company’s overall value and should not be overlooked when valuing a business. While valuing intangible assets can be challenging, it’s essential for companies to do so in order to understand the true value of their assets, make informed decisions, and take advantage of tax benefits. If you’re unsure how to value your company’s intangible assets, consider seeking the help of a professional business valuation expert.