What is company equity?

What is company equity?

What is company equity?



Company equity refers to the ownership interest or stake that shareholders hold in a company. It represents the residual interest in the assets of a company after deducting liabilities. Equity is an essential concept in the world of finance and business, as it determines the value and ownership structure of a company. Understanding company equity is crucial for investors, shareholders, and anyone interested in the financial health and prospects of a business.

Types of Company Equity

There are various types of company equity, each with its own characteristics and implications. The two primary types of equity are common equity and preferred equity.

Common Equity: Common equity, also known as common stock, represents the ownership interest of ordinary shareholders in a company. Common shareholders have voting rights and are entitled to a share of the company’s profits, typically in the form of dividends. However, common shareholders are the last to receive any remaining assets in the event of liquidation or bankruptcy.

Preferred Equity: Preferred equity, on the other hand, represents a class of shares that have preferential rights and privileges over common equity. Preferred shareholders have a higher claim on the company’s assets and earnings compared to common shareholders. They are usually entitled to fixed dividends and have priority in receiving their investment back in case of liquidation. However, preferred shareholders usually do not have voting rights or the same level of control as common shareholders.

Calculating Company Equity

To calculate a company’s equity, you need to subtract its liabilities from its assets. The formula for calculating equity is as follows:

Equity = Assets – Liabilities

Assets include everything that a company owns, such as cash, inventory, property, and equipment. Liabilities, on the other hand, represent the company’s debts and obligations, including loans, accounts payable, and accrued expenses. By subtracting liabilities from assets, you arrive at the company’s equity, which represents the net worth of the business.

Importance of Company Equity

Company equity is of great importance for several reasons. Firstly, it serves as a measure of a company’s financial health and stability. A higher equity value indicates that the company has more assets than liabilities, which is generally seen as a positive sign. It provides a cushion against potential losses and demonstrates the company’s ability to meet its obligations.

Equity is also crucial for attracting investors and raising capital. Investors are more likely to invest in a company with a strong equity position, as it indicates a lower risk profile. Additionally, a higher equity value can make it easier for a company to obtain loans and secure favorable financing terms.

Furthermore, equity determines the ownership structure of a company. The distribution of equity among shareholders determines their level of control and decision-making power. Companies with widely dispersed equity may have a more diverse shareholder base, while concentrated equity ownership may lead to greater control by a few individuals or entities.


In summary, company equity represents the ownership interest that shareholders hold in a company. It is calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets and serves as a measure of a company’s financial health, attractiveness to investors, and ownership structure. Understanding company equity is essential for investors, shareholders, and anyone interested in assessing the value and prospects of a business.


– Investopedia: www.investopedia.com/terms/e/equity.asp
– Corporate Finance Institute: corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/finance/equity/
– The Balance: www.thebalance.com/what-is-equity-358086