What Is Equity?: Definition and Examples of Equity


In the realm of finance and business equity is the worth of ownership in something. Equity is used to determine the worth of a whole business or a single stock issued by a company or the inventory held by the company or anything else which is valuable.

This is why equity is important to investors, business owners as well as consumers who are deciding between various products.

What Is Equity?

Equity is the measurement of the value of ownership. It’s the amount of money that an individual could be in return for the sale of an item that they have. 1 The concept can be applied to whole organizations or more narrowly defined as the value that is marketable for the item in question. Businesses will record their total equity on their balance sheet and add the retained earnings and their inventory value and any other items and then subtract loans and other liabilities.

  • Alternative term: “Equity” may be used in relation to justice-seeking generally in relation to social issues, such as gender or race. This definition is not connected with equity in terms of a measurement of value, even though both terms are used in business contexts. For instance, a business might change its policies on hiring in order to ensure greater equity for racial groups during the process of hiring.

While equity is frequently employed for investing and analyzing balance sheets, it is also used to describe any type of ownership. Another popular use for equity is for homeowners. Similar to a business that is tallying down assets, and subtracting liabilities homeowners can assess their home’s equity by assessing the value of their home and then subtracting any remaining balance from their mortgage.

How Does Equity Work?

The financial term equity always refers to the value of a business However, it also has a variety of purposes. When you examine the different examples of how equity is used you’ll find that they all come down to the same idea equity is the total of assets, inventory as well as net earnings.


Equity could refer to the ownership stake in a company that is represented by stocks or securities. Investors are able to have stock shares within a company that is in the form of preferred stock or common stock. Equity ownership within a company is when the business’s original shareholder shares the ownership of others called shareholders.

The equity of each share can be expressed as the amount of cash they could get others that share in the event that they sell it. The value fluctuates throughout the day, because of market forces. Investors can determine their equity stake in a business using the ratio of equity worth one share by the number of shares they hold.

If a trader is involved on margin, that is, borrowing money to purchase stocks and shares, then their equity is the number of securities that are in their account, less the amount that is taken by the brokerage.

Balance Sheet

On a business’s statement of balance, the total equity amount is represented as the total of the common stock capital paid-in, in, and the retained profits. 3 This is referred to as equity of shareholders, also known as stockholder’s equity since it is the equity of all the shareholders of a company.

Real Estate

When discussing the property, equity refers to an amount of difference in the market price of an asset and its amount due for the loan. 2


If your company is insolvent and you need to liquidate it, ownership equity refers to the amount left after the company pays its creditors and then sells the entirety of its in that. In the business’s financial situation, there might not be any equity in ownership after debts have been paid.

Example of Negative and Positive Equity

Take a look at these two simple scenarios.

Imagine that Joe is looking to sell his company Joe’s Excellent Computer Repair. He leases his office space but owns 15,000 of his equipment as well as accounts receivable from customers. Joe has taken out loans to establish the business and he’s owed $5,000. In this instance, Joe has $10,000 worth of equity in the business.

Imagine that Joe required more loans to run his business. If the loans amount to more than $15,000, Joe has negative equity. Joe could also sell all his assets and get all his accounts payable, but it would still not be enough to pay his loans.

Intangible Equity

In making equity calculations when calculating equity, the total value of assets should include tangible as well as intangible assets. Tangible assets include physical assets like an inventory of product properties, facilities, and inventory Intangible assets comprise the company’s reputation intellectual property, as well as branding.

Intangible equity builds up over time by operating and successfully serving your customer base. Thus, big corporations which have been serving a wider area for a long time tend to possess equity intangible more than a newly-established company.

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