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Assets is a term that refers to any property a business owns that has value. In practical terms, assets are possessions controlled by a business—think things like tools, materials, machinery, vehicles, cash, and more—that have monetary value or can be used to create additional monetary value.

Assets are typically categorized as tangible or intangible. Tangible assets are physical things of value—you can touch them, hold them, use them, and so on (like a hammer). Intangible assets are non-physical things of value—think patents, copyrights, trademarks, and the like.

Assets may also be categorized as long-term or short-term, and the distinction between these two categories is determined by whether they last on a business' balance sheet for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or longer. Normally, your accountant will decide how to record assets for your company. Very short-term assets are usually called current assets—they're the things your business is expected to either consume or convert to cash in the next year. Fixed assets are long-term assets you anticipate using to operate a business for a long time—think work trucks, tractors, scaffolding, tools, and the like.

Your business assets are the things you could either turn into cash today, or intend to use to earn cash tomorrow.