In a business context, assets make up a company’s entire wealth. Assets can consist of property, liquid assets (money), receivables and intangible assets.
Assets are sometimes divided into fixed assets and current assets. Fixed assets remain within the company for a long period of time and might for example include machinery which is expensive to purchase and is expected to last many years. Instead of defraying the entire cost in one go, the length of time that the fixed asset is expected to last is calculated and depreciation is implemented on a monthly or annual basis. Patents which can be sold or licensed out can also constitute fixed assets. Current assets are assets which are consumed more rapidly, e.g. stocks of goods, cash and trade debtors.
Intangible assets - are the company’s assets which are not physical. Examples of intangible assets are trademarks, patents and copyrights, but employee expertise and specialist knowledge, customer databases, business models, designs, manufacturing processes, databases, internal manuals and descriptions of working methods can also be considered intangible assets. In addition to maximise the commercial benefits of intangible assets, they must be consciously managed. For example, trademarks and logotypes can be protected through trademark registration, designs can be protected through design protection, competence and specialist knowledge can be protected through agreements, and manufacturing processes can be protected through trade secrets or patents. Many intangible assets can be licensed out or sold, e.g. business models, trademarks and technology. A company’s intangible assets can also generate commercial benefits by attracting potential financers and collaboration partners.
Test your business
In the test, we will help you identify your intangible assets: