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What should I know about intangible assets?

The assets of your family business help determine its value. In the event you go through a divorce, you may sell your business to divide its value between you and your spouse. You should determine if your company has intangible assets.

Tangible assets such as equipment and property play a major role in building business value. However, intangible assets can be even more valuable.

Defining intangible assets

Business News Daily explains that an intangible asset is not a physical object that you can pick up or manipulate. An intangible asset is a resource that helps your business make money. Since an intangible asset is part of your business, it can remain with your enterprise if you sell it off.

Examples of intangible assets

Many businesses have intellectual property as an intangible asset. There are many kinds of IP, including audio and video productions, company logos, patents, trademarks and music. A business could also license software to customers. Bigger companies can grant franchise agreements to other businesses.

If you have kept a list of customers and clients, consider that your list may also be an intangible asset. A customer list can generate a lot of value if it provides a roster of people who will regularly buy from you.

Placing value on intangible assets

Determining the value of intangible assets is not always simple. Some assets can be valuable indefinitely while others have limits due to economic or legal factors. For instance, a software license might lose value over time because newer software renders it obsolete.

Figuring out all the intangible assets you have and how long they can remain valuable are important questions. If your intangible assets increase your business value, you may end up with a bigger payout than you first imagined.