Companies are made up of three important areas: management, structure, and assets. Without its assets, a company would sink quickly. Assets are such a critical part of a business because they add value to a company, can be sold during difficult times, used as collateral for growth and positively affect the balance sheet. Therefore, if you are a business owner or looking to start-up a new company, it is critical to understand every asset owned by the company.
Most Important Types of Assets
Copyrights were created to legally protect your published materials from competitors. A copyright protects your materials from being illegally copied and resold. When a material is copyrighted, outside companies and individuals must legally secure permission from your company to use them. For many companies, selling the licensing on a product or publication is an excellent source of additional income. The most common types of copyrights include, literary, musical, choreographic, pantomime, pictorial, graphic, sculpted, architectural audio, and visual works that an individual or company has created. Copyrights can be tangible or intangible assets depending on what is being protected.
Since its creation, the Internet has become one of the greatest equalizers in business. The Web has practically eliminated the difference between a major corporation and a small business. If you have a website or other types of online assets, such as a blog, social media presence, storefront or website, you could very-likely succeed in the marketplace and experience growth to bring you to the top. Domain names fall within the intangible asset category.
If you are in a manufacturing-based business, trademarks are critical to the success of the company. A trademark legally protects your claim to a product and any gross misconduct that may arise if your reputation and product name are free for anyone to access. A trademark also gives you justification to legally pursue another who is tarnishing your company’s reputation through intellectual property. Trademarks include company names, phrases, symbols, logos, words used to identify and distinguish from competitors. Trademarks are categorized as an intangible asset and considered to be a company’s intellectual property.
Patents are critical in preventing others from copying inventions without legal approval. Similar to a copyright, outside parties must pay a negotiated amount for the permission to use your innovation within their business. For companies that rely on technology, all innovations must be protected immediately. Patents include useful machines, manufacturing process or composition of matter developed by an individual or company. Patents can be tangible or intangible assets but are considered intellectual property.
There are five types of patents for your assets: Design, Plant, Reissue, Statutory Invention Registration (SIR) and Utility. A Design patent permits the owner from allowing others from making, using or selling a design for 14 years from the patent grant. A Plant patent can be issued for creating a new type of asexually reproduced plant. A Reissue patent corrects an error in an already issued patent. An SIR patent offers limited defensive protection that prevents others from patenting an invention. Finally, a Utility patent is used to protect a useful process, manufacture, composition of matter or machine from being copied.
How Sunbelt Business Brokers Can Assist You
If you are in the position to list your business assets, Sunbelt Business Brokers can assist with the selling of tangible and intangible items. Sunbelt Business Brokers works closely with companies and individuals who are interested in buying a business or specific assets from a business. Founded in 1978, the professionals at Sunbelt Business Brokers have extensive experience and can help you get the best price for your business and its assets.