Intangible Assets

What is an intangible asset?

Intangible assets are those assets that are not typically physical in nature and have no material substance. Almost all intangible assets will have no physical form but will provide value to businesses and their owners.

Intangible assets can be found in all areas of a business from technology to customer relationships, and exist alongside tangible assets (land, vehicles, equipment and inventory). Financial assets such as stock and bonds can also be referred to as tangible assets.

Key takeaways from this section:

  • Intangible assets are assets that are not physical in nature but are still of value and importance to businesses.
  • They can include aspects such as a patent, brand, trademark, copyright etc.
  • Intangible assets that are created by a company will not appear on a balance sheet and have no recorded book value.
  • Businesses can either create or acquire intangible assets, and they can be considered both definite and indefinite.

Understanding intangible assets

Intangible assets, in most cases, do not have a physical component. They can be found in all areas of a business; in technology as technical manuals, computer software, engineering processes, or in customer relationships, brand recognition, business processes, trade secrets, trademarks, marketing campaigns etc.

Intangible assets are of high value to a business and can be used to create profits, increase sales value, and bring income into your business. Intangible assets can be classified as either indefinite or definite. Aspects such as a company’s brand is considered to be an indefinite intangible asset as it stays with the company for as long as it operates. On the other hand, a definite intangible asset would something with a limited life, such as a legal agreement.

Intangible assets can prove to be very valuable for a business and can help to actually grow a business despite not having a physical component to them.


Intangible Assets FAQs

What exactly is an intangible asset?

An intangible asset is defined as an asset that has no physical form such as goodwill, brand recognition, copyrights, patents, trademarks etc. However, despite the fact that these assets do not have a physical component they are still of high value to a business. Intangible assets are valuable for a firm and can be critical to its long-term success or failure.

What is the difference between an indefinite and a definite intangible asset?

The main difference between indefinite and definite intangible assets is that indefinite assets are those that stay with the company for as long as it operates such as the company name. Definite assets on the other hand are those assets that have a shorter life, for example a legal agreement to operate under another company’s patent that has no plans for extension.

How are intangible assets valued?

As it is difficult to value assets that don’t exactly have a physical form. Different types of intangible assets will be valued differently, for example most intellectual property is valued based on the income it produces whilst the software that is developed and used is valued primarily on the cost to produce it. A third approach is market valuation which essentially is based on transactions that involve intangible assets exchanged in public trading.


Have you thought about Invoice Finance as a cash flow solution for your business?

Invoice finance allows you to release cash quickly from your unpaid invoices.

As your lender, we can release up to 90% of your invoices within 24 hours. On payment of the invoice from your customers, we will then release the final amount minus any fees and charges. There are different types of invoice financing options available to businesses depending on the situation and the level of control they require in collecting unpaid invoices.

We are an invoice financing company who offer a solution whereby payments are collected on your behalf managed by our team of expert credit controllers so you can focus on running your business. Our Confidential Invoice Discounting solution is offered to businesses who want to maintain their own credit control processes, therefore this remains strictly confidential so your customers are unaware of our involvement.


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Contact our friendly UK advisors on our freephone

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The benefits of invoice finance companies such as Novuna Business cash flow

  • Boost your cash flow without having to wait up to 120 days for your customers to pay you

  • Release up to 90% of the invoice straight away, and the final 10% when the invoice is settled

  • Access funds within 24 hours from initial appointment with our revolutionary digital onboarding process

  • Benefit from our in-house credit control processes, allowing you to focus on running your business, instead of chasing clients for payment

  • 6 month trial period followed by a rolling contract


Want to understand more Cash Flow Finance terms?

Our Cash Flow Resource Hub has been set up to help SME's with cash flow finance advice, tips and resources to help with their cash flow position.

We explore ways you can begin improving your cash flow situation and start getting your business on track to positive cash flow.



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