Tangible net worth

From CEOpedia | Management online

Tangible net worth is the net value of a company excluding all intangible assets (trademarks, patents, etc.). The simple formula is:

Tangible net worth = Total assets - Liabilities - Intangible assets

Investors might want to know the value of physical assets of the company, e.g. when the value of intangible assets seems overstated. Tangible net worth helps to determine that value. It can be similar to liquidation value, however, some of the intangible assets can keep their value even after the bankruptcy of the company.

Tangible net worth is easier to calculate than the total net worth. However, in the case of companies using cutting edge technologies and knowledge tangible net worth can be significantly lower than the real value of the company[1].

Borrowing capacity

If the company has adequate access to collateralize a loan so the banks want to know about it. However, the bank will not accept the worth of assets on the balance sheet at face value. Usually, the banks request a monthly Tangible Net Worth Certificate and some banks demand them each time when a company uses its line of credit. The Tangible Net Worth Certificate is a testimony signed by:

certifying to a company's liabilities and assets at the time when the Certificate is filed. To used the compute borrowing capacity is needed Certificate data.

Tangible Net Worth excludes:

  • patents and copyrights,
  • ineligible accounts receivable (generally those over 90 days old),
  • loans to officers and employees,
  • goodwill,
  • pre-paid investments and expenses in non-public, bankrupt or lightly traded companies because they are hard to convert to cash.

Moreover, a factor is commonly applied to the resulting Tangible Net Worth, which can obtain perhaps 70 % or 80 % to reach borrowing capacity. To get available borrowing capacity, outstanding bank loans are pulled out from borrowing capacity[2].

Limitations of Tangible Net Worth

The main disadvantage of looking at tangible net worth is that it can fall substantially short as an appearance of actual net worth in cases where an individual or a company has intangible assets of considerable value. One example can be a major computer software firm such as Microsoft Corporation which can possess a wealth of intellectual property rights and another elusive asset which are worth billions of dollars, but which should be excluded from the tangible net worth calculation[3].

Examples of Tangible net worth

  • Tangible net worth is the value of a company’s assets minus its liabilities. This value is determined by subtracting the company’s liabilities from its assets. Examples of tangible assets include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, buildings, and land. Examples of liabilities include accounts payable, loans, and bonds. By subtracting these liabilities from the company’s assets, the company's tangible net worth can be determined.
  • A real-life example of tangible net worth can be seen in the financial statements of a corporation. For example, if a company has assets of $20 million and liabilities of $10 million, its tangible net worth is $10 million.
  • Another example of tangible net worth is the net asset value (NAV) of a mutual fund. The NAV of a mutual fund is calculated by subtracting the fund’s liabilities from its assets. The NAV can be used to determine the fund’s value and can be used to determine the performance of the fund.

Advantages of Tangible net worth

Tangible net worth provides several advantages for a company. These include:

  • Increased transparency and accountability to investors, as tangible net worth can be more accurately calculated and tracked than intangible assets.
  • Improved ability to measure the value of a company and assess its overall performance.
  • Better access to financing, as investors are more likely to lend money to a company that has tangible net worth.
  • A more accurate representation of a company's real value, as intangible assets are often undervalued or difficult to assess.
  • Enhanced ability to attract potential buyers, as tangible net worth provides a more concrete valuation of a company.

Other approaches related to Tangible net worth

Tangible net worth is the net value of a company excluding all intangible assets (trademarks, patents, etc.). Other approaches related to tangible net worth are as follows:

  • Book Value: Book value is equal to the total assets minus liabilities, and also known as shareholders’ equity. It is the amount of money that shareholders would theoretically get if the company liquidated all of its assets and paid off all of its liabilities.
  • Market Value: Market value is the company’s worth as determined by the stock market. It is an estimation of the company’s worth based on market factors such as the current price of its stock, the current demand for its stock, and the performance of its stock in comparison to other companies in the same industry.
  • Earnings Power Value: Earnings power value is the present value of the company’s future cash flows. It is calculated by estimating the future cash flows of the company and discounting them to the present.
  • Intrinsic Value: Intrinsic value is the underlying value of a company’s stock beyond its market value. It is based on a company’s fundamentals such as its assets, earnings, and growth prospects.

In summary, tangible net worth is the net value of a company excluding all intangible assets, while other approaches such as book value, market value, earnings power value, and intrinsic value are all related to determining the worth of a company.


  1. (R. Frankel, C. Seethamraju, T. Zach 2008)
  2. (D.E. Vance 2005)
  3. (R.C. Spurga 2004)

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Author: Klaudia Święs