A Guide To Understanding Assets, Liabilities, and Equities

accounting balance sheet with blue pen on top

Understanding assets, liabilities, and equities are one of the most important aspects of running a business. It can help you make better decisions about managing your finances and what actions you need to take next. But if you’re not a finance expert, it can be challenging to understand what each term means and how they affect your business. This guide will explain some essential asset, liabilities, and equities concepts.


Assets have value and can be used to generate future income. Examples of assets include cash, inventory, equipment, real estate, and investments such as stocks and bonds.

Is a car an asset?

The answer to this question depends on how you use the car. If you own a vehicle used solely for business purposes, it could be considered an asset. However, if your car is used for personal and business purposes, then it would not be considered an asset.

This also goes for vehicle repair equipment such as tow or flatbed trucks. They are considered assets if you use your vehicle and equipment only for business purposes. For example, if you have a small repair shop and use both of these items to service your customers’ vehicles, then they qualify as assets.

Which is not an asset?

Examples of things that aren’t assets include:

  • Money in a savings account or checking account
  • The value of your home and belongings
  • Your retirement accounts like 401Ks and IRAs
  • Stocks and bonds that a brokerage firm doesn’t hold


A liability is an obligation that you owe to someone else. It’s a debt that you have incurred and must repay. Examples of liabilities include credit card balances, car loans, student loans, and mortgages. Liabilities also include accounts payable (money owed to suppliers or contractors), accrued expenses (expenses that have already been incurred but not yet paid), and unpaid taxes.

Are all liabilities debt?

A liability is a financial obligation to be paid in the future, while debt is that portion of one’s obligations incurred through loans. Therefore, debt is a type of liability. For example, if you take out a car loan and use the money to buy a new car, that debt is considered a liability because it’s an obligation to be paid back in the future.

Is liability a debit or credit?

In accounting, the word “liability” is a type of account on the balance sheet. A liability account will have a debit balance if it’s an obligation to pay cash in the future and if it has no associated asset or equity accounts. If other accounts are associated with that liability (for example, a mortgage loan where you receive monthly payments from your lender), it will be credited instead of debited.


investment concept with related words written around it

Equity accounts are accounts that represent your ownership in a company. They can be either capital stock or retained earnings. The capital stock is the value of a company’s shares and represents how much money you invested into it. At the same time, retained earnings are profits that have been reinvested back into the company instead of paying them out to shareholders as dividends.

Is income an asset or equity?

Income is not an asset or equity. Income is a flow of money that can come from many sources, whether from working for someone else or starting your own business. It’s often confused with assets, but they are not the same thing. Assets can be anything from a house, car, or money in the bank to stocks and bonds. Income is typically used to pay debts or expenses such as rent, food, utilities, and taxes.

What is the difference between asset and equity?

Asset and equity are two different things. An asset is anything that has value or provides income. It could be money in the bank, real estate, or stocks. Equity is the difference between what an asset is worth and what it costs to buy it. For example, if you buy a $1 million house for $900,000 and sell it for $1.2 million, then your equity would be 200,000 (or 20% of 1 million).

Final Thoughts

To summarize this article on assets, liabilities, and equities, the three are interconnected. Assets, liabilities, and equities can be thought of as three sides of a triangle. If you increase one side of the triangle, it must be balanced by decreasing another side. These are important terms to note when you have a business or are just getting started in business. They will help you understand the core fundamentals of finance and how it applies to your business.

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