What Are Intangible Assets?

Triston Martin

Jul 29, 2023

It is common for individuals and businesses to think about the tangible assets that they own, such as property, equipment, or inventory. However, there are also intangible assets that have become increasingly important in recent years.

These asset categories might not be seen with the naked eye but can often add significantly more value than physical possessions. Intangible assets can range from intellectual property rights to customer loyalty and brand recognition. We’ll explore these assets, why they make a difference, and how you can best capitalize on them.

Intangible Assets

Intangible assets are non-physical business resources that are valuable to a company. These assets often cannot be seen, touched, or held. Intangible assets include patents, copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property rights, customer lists and relationships, goodwill, brand recognition, and reputation.

The value of intangible assets lies in the expected future benefits they generate for the company. For example, patent ownership can help protect an idea so that other companies cannot copy it without permission.

Copyrights can provide revenue through licensing fees for others to use original works. Trademarks differentiate products from each other and create brand loyalty with consumers.

Types of Intangible Assets

Several types of intangible assets can add value to an organization. These include:


Brand recognition is a valuable intangible asset for any company. A successful brand with a strong reputation can increase customer loyalty and attract new customers.

Intellectual Property Rights

These include copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets registered or granted to an idea or product owner. They give the owner exclusive rights to use these assets to their advantage in many ways.


Goodwill is created when a company acquires another business at a higher price than its book value. The additional amount paid over book value represents goodwill and indicates the future economic benefits the acquired business will generate.

Customer Relationships

Developing relationships with current and potential customers can be a valuable asset. Customer loyalty is especially important in the modern economy, as customers tend to be more loyal to brands that offer great customer service and satisfaction.

How To Capitalize On Intangible Assets

Businesses need to recognize the value of their intangible assets and take steps to capitalize on them. Here are some tips:

  • Protect your intellectual property rights by registering patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other documents with the appropriate government agencies.
  • Build strong customer relationships through excellent customer service and satisfaction policies.
  • Work to strengthen brand recognition by developing creative marketing campaigns to make your product stand out from competitors’ products.
  • Monitor technological developments and business environment trends to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Take advantage of potential tax benefits associated with intangible assets.

By properly managing and valuing their intangible assets, businesses can maximize the value of these non-physical resources to grow and remain competitive in today’s market.

Acquiring Intangible Assets

In addition to protecting and capitalizing on the intangible assets a company currently owns, it is also possible for businesses to acquire other intangible assets.

These intangible assets can be acquired through mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, or joint ventures with other companies.

By properly managing and valuing their intangible assets, businesses can maximize the value of these non-physical resources to grow and remain competitive in today’s market.

Identifying those valuable intangibles can give an organization a crucial edge in the increasingly digital world.

Intangible asset management is an essential part of any successful business strategy.

Example of Intangible Assets

A great example of an intangible asset is the mobile app created by a company. The company owns the app's intellectual property rights, which protects them from competitors trying to copy their idea. They also benefit from customer loyalty and brand recognition as users come back to use their app repeatedly.

Finally, the potential for increased revenue from licensing deals or advertisements makes this intangible asset even more valuable.

The value of intangible assets has become increasingly important in today’s digital world.

Companies should protect and capitalize on these non-physical resources to remain competitive in today’s market. Businesses can gain a crucial edge over competitors by identifying those valuable intangibles.

Using balance sheets to Track Assets

The importance of intangible assets is becoming increasingly evident in today’s world. To track what tangible and intangible assets a company owns, most businesses use balance sheets to list all their property and liabilities.

Companies should clearly define which assets are tangible or intangible on the balance sheet so that they can properly value them. This will also help them understand how these different types of assets can be used to gain an advantage over their competition.

By understanding the importance of tangible and intangible assets, companies can unlock potential advantages over competitors and increase their chances of success in the modern economy.

What Intangible Assets Mean for Your Business

Businesses should recognize the importance of intangible assets and take steps to capitalize on them. By understanding which tangible and intangible assets a company owns, they can properly value and use them to gain a competitive advantage.

Properly managing these non-physical resources can help businesses maximize their potential benefits for long-term success. Businesses should also consider acquiring other intangible assets through mergers, acquisitions, licensing agreements, or joint ventures with other companies.

Doing so can give them an even bigger edge over their competition in today’s increasingly digital world.

By properly valuing and using these intangible assets, businesses can unlock potential advantages to help them succeed in the modern economy. Understanding how to capitalize on these non-physical resources can be the key to long-term success for businesses of all sizes.

Benefits of Intangible Assets

  • Higher Profits: Intangible assets can bring higher profits due to their unique competitive advantages. They can provide a competitive edge that is hard for competitors to replicate, resulting in improved customer loyalty and recognition, increased sales, and higher profits.
  • Increased Funding: Potential investors are likely to be more interested in investing in businesses with strong intangible assets, as these assets create more value for the company and make it more attractive to potential investors.
  • Tax Benefits: Certain intangible assets may be eligible for tax benefits or deductions when valued properly by the IRS. This can help businesses maximize their returns on investment, making them more financially stable and able to grow and expand.
  • Lower Risk: Intangible assets can help reduce the risk of failure as they provide a unique competitive advantage that can be leveraged to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Long-Term Stability: By properly valuing and utilizing intangible assets, businesses can ensure long-term stability by unlocking potential advantages over competitors and creating value for customers.


Where are intangible assets?

Intangible assets are not physical resources but can still majorly impact a business. Intangible assets include intellectual property rights, brand recognition, customer loyalty, and other non-physical resources.

Is copyright an intangible asset?

Yes, copyright is an intangible asset. It is a form of intellectual property that gives the owner exclusive legal rights over certain creations such as books, films, music, and software.

Is software an intangible asset?

Yes, software is an intangible asset. It refers to any computer program that makes a process or activity easier or more efficient. The software can be proprietary (developed by the company itself) or off-the-shelf (purchased from a third party).


Intangible assets can provide many benefits to any business, large or small. They can help ensure the smooth running of operations and appear on a company's balance sheet as an asset. Despite their advantages, these assets have unique challenges, such as increased management costs and difficulty maintaining control. Businesses should carefully consider the risks associated with intangible assets to make a wise investment that will benefit them in the long run.

Related Stories

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

© 2023 jquehorse.com

Contact us at: [email protected]