Owner’s Equity

Refers to the net assets left for owners after all the liabilities of the firm have been paid

Owner's equity (OE) refers to the owner's rights to the enterprise's assets. Also referred to as net assets or net worth, it is what remains for the owner after all business liabilities are deducted from its assets.

Owner's equity

In other words, the difference between the value of assets and liabilities helps determine an owner's net assets after paying off liabilities.

The term "owner's equity" (OE) is commonly used for sole-proprietorship. However, if the company is set up as an LLC or a corporation, it may also be referred to as stockholder's equity or shareholder's equity.

For instance, if the balance sheet of a sole proprietorship indicates assets of $100,000 and liabilities of $60,000, the amount of OE is $40,000.

A balance sheet entry has to be made if the amount is negative. Inadequate consideration of the liabilities will lead an owner to believe that they own more than they do since liabilities take precedence over equity.

It can help assess the financial situation of a business; however, due to the cost principle (and other accounting standards), it should not be regarded as the business's fair market value.

Hence, it is vital to remember that it does not accurately reflect the true worth of ownership.

Components of Owner's Equity

Balance sheet
A snippet of Amazon.com Inc.'s Balance Sheet for the years 2020 and 2019

In a proprietorship, assets and liabilities make up the OE since it is calculated by evaluating the difference between the value of the assets and the liabilities. 

A) Asset: An asset is anything that you own. This might be your housing, vehicle, boat, furniture, business, or property.

B) Liability: A liability is a debt accumulated against an asset. An example of a liability would be a debt you take out against your assets (like a mortgage or loan).

In the case of a corporation or a firm, the following are the components included in the shareholder's equity:

1. Invested Capital

  • Equity Shares
  • Preference Shares
  • Additional paid-in Capital
  • Outstanding shares
  • Treasury Stock

2. Reserve Capital

a) Invested Capital

Invested Capital includes the shareholder's investments in the firm. It includes the following:

  • Equity Capital
    Equity shares are those shares that have voting rights, but the dividend on which is paid only after the fixed-rate dividend is paid to preference shareholders. There is no fixed rate of dividend on these shares.
    Also referred to as common stock, equity shareholders have voting rights and control the company's affairs.
  • Preference Capital
    Preference shares have a right to receive a fixed-rate dividend before any dividend is paid on equity shares. However, these shares do not carry any voting rights.
    When the company winds up, preference shareholders have a right to the return of Capital before equity shareholders.
  • Outstanding Shares
    The number of shares sold to investors but have not yet been repurchased by the company is referred to as outstanding shares.
    When determining the value of shareholder equity, the number of outstanding shares is considered.
  • Treasury Stock
    The term' treasury stock' describes the number of shares the company has acquired from its investors and shareholders.
    The number of shares accessible to investors is determined by subtracting the treasury stock amount from the total equity held by the corporation.
  • Additional paid-in Capital
    The amount shareholders have paid to purchase shares over the declared par value is called the additional paid-in Capital.
    It is calculated by taking the selling price, the number of newly sold shares, and the difference between the par values of equity and preferred shares.

Invested capital

b) Retained Earnings

The returns on shareholder stock that are reinvested back into the business rather than being paid out as dividends are represented as retained profits, net income from operations, and other activities.

These earnings, as opposed to being distributed as dividends, were moved to the balance sheet and are included under shareholder's equity.

Retained profits increase in size over time due to the firm reinvesting some of its earnings. As a result, firms with a strong history may represent a majority of shareholders' equity.


Calculating the equity involves adding all of the company's assets (including real estate, plant, & equipment, inventory, capital goods, etc.) and subtracting all of its liabilities (debts, wages, salaries, loans, creditors, etc.).


For example: If a real estate project is valued at $700,000 and the loan amount due is $500,000, the amount of OE, in this case, is $200,000.

When the owner or investors (in the case of a company) raise the amount of their capital contribution, the value of the equity increases. It is also increased by higher profits brought on by higher sales or lower costs.

In the case of a partnership, withdrawals by a partner might reduce the equity total. Also called capital gains, the tax must be paid on them by the owner/ partner based on the amount of the withdrawals.

Taking out a loan to buy an asset for the company, which is listed as a liability on the balance sheet, is another approach to reducing the stockholder's equity.

It can have a positive or negative value. When liabilities outweigh assets in value, there is a negative value. A change in the value of assets relative to liabilities, share repurchases, and asset depreciation are a few factors that might affect the amount of equity.



Example 1

Sharp International Ltd. started the business a year back, and at the end of the financial year ending 2020, it owned:

  • Land worth $ 30,000
  • Factory worth $ 20,000
  • Equipment worth $ 11,000
  • Inventory worth $4,000
  • Debtors of $5,000 for the sales made on the credit basis
  • Cash of $10,000

Also, the company owes $15,000 to the bank as it took a loan from the bank and $5,000 to the creditors for the purchases made on a credit basis.

The company wants to know the OE.


Owner equity = Assets – Liabilities


Assets = Land + Factory + Equipment + Inventory + Debtors + Cash

= $ 30,000 + $ 20,000 + $ 11,000 + $4,000 + $5,000 + $10,000 

= $ 80,000

Liabilities = Bank loan + Creditors

= $ 15,000 + $ 5,000

= $ 20,000

Therefore, the calculation is as follows,

Owner's Equity = $ 80,000 – $ 20,000

  = $ 60,000

Example 2

Bob is the owner of the machine assembling firm Jonto Ltd. and is interested in knowing the owner's equity of his business. The previous year's balance of Jonto Ltd. shows the following details:

Example 02
ParticularsAmount ($)
Factory Equipment250,000
Other Liabilities160,000


Assets = Factory Equipment + Warehouse + Inventory + Debtors + Cash

= $250,000 + $1,000,000 + $350,000 + $100,000 + $300,000

= $2,000,000

Liabilities = Loan + Creditors + Other Liabilities

= $1,000,000 + $450,000 + $160,000

= $1,610,000

Owner's Equity = Assets - Liabilities

OE = $2,000,000 - $1,610,000

= $290,000

Thus from the above calculation, it can be said that the value of Bob's worth is $ 290,000 in the company.

Example 3

The data relating to Star International Co. Ltd is as follows:

Example 03
ParticularsAmount ($)
Common Stock3 million
Preferred Stock1.5 million
Retained Earnings4 million
Debentures @10%1.5 million
Bank Loan2.4 million

Calculate Shareholder's Equity.


Shareholder's Equity = Common Stock + Preferred Stock + Retained Earnings

= $3,000,000 + $1,500,000 + $4,000,000

= $8.5 million

Example 4

The balance of Xcel Industries Ltd. shows the values as given below. Calculate the value of the stockholder's equity at the end of the Financial Year 2019 and 2020 using the same information.

The balance sheet details of Xcel Industries Ltd. are given below:

Example 04
Particulars2019 ($)2020 ($)
Current Assets:  
Accounts Receivables10,00015,000
Non-Current Assets  
TOTAL ASSETS350,000460,000
Liabilities and Owners Equity  
Current Liability  
Accounts Payable30,00045,000
Non-Current Liabilities  
Bank Loan100,000150,000
Other Non-Current liabilities40,00055,000
Owners Equity  
Common Stock100,000110,000
Retained Earnings80,000100,000


For the year 2019:

Total Assets = $350,000

Total Liabilities = Current Liabilities + Non Current Liabilities

= Accounts Payables + Bank Loan + Other Non-Current Liabilities

= $30,000 + $100,000 + $40,000

= $170,000

Stockholders Equity = Total Asset - Total Liabilities

= $350,000 - $170,000

= $180,000

It equals the sum of common stock ($100,000) and retained earnings ($80,000).

For the year 2020:

Total Assets = $460,000

Total Liabilities = Accounts Payables + Bank Loan + Other Non-Current Liabilities

= $45,000 + $150,000 + $55,000

= $250,000

Stockholders Equity = Total Asset - Total Liabilities

= $460,000 - $250,000

= $210,000

It equals the sum of common stock ($110,000) and retained earnings ($100,000).



The following are some benefits:

  • Capital Infusion:

It has the advantage of being split between the business owners or partners. New investors may purchase the shares, or other partners may join the company.

Until it becomes a corporate entity, the new influx of cash is not subject to many constraints. New partners imply additional expertise for the firm.

  • Not a Liability:

Businesses do not have to pay interest on the equity the same way they do for borrowed Capital since the OE is not a liability. There are no financing expenses that the company can end up owing.

However, the company might choose to pay a dividend to equity owners or a set dividend for preference capital.

  • Low risk of default:

A company is said to be self-reliant if it depends more on equity than on external parties like creditors. In the event of the dissolution of a company, creditors may file for bankruptcy, but owners will never do so.

Therefore, banks and other financial institutions associate more equity with a lower risk of default.



In most cases, having the owner's equity on the balance sheet has no negative effects. But from various perspectives, we can identify the following things as drawbacks:

  • Cost of Equity Capital:

Even though owners of equity capital are not required to pay interest, they nonetheless anticipate a healthy return on their investment. This expectation cost is significantly more than the borrowed capital interest cost.

  • Ownership Dilution:

The influx of new funds is welcome. However, this frequently occurs in large corporations, where the principal owner's share or stake (who founded the corporation) decreases as and when additional investors enter the business.

This decrease in owned shared percentage alludes to ownership dilution.

  • Decrease in Control:

Voting rights are connected to equity capital. More stake dilution indicates that control is distributed among more people.

Every suggestion in such a circumstance must get the assent of the majority of the shareholders, causing the management's decision to be delayed.

Therefore, a rise in owner equity results in a decrease in percentage ownership and, consequently, a proportional decrease in control.

Key Takeaways
  • Owners equity is what remains for the owner after all business liabilities are deducted from its assets.
  • If the company is set up as an LLC or a corporation, the owner's equity may also be referred to as stockholder's equity or shareholder's equity.
  • The following are the components included:
    1. Invested capital
      • Equity Shares
      • Preference Shares
      • Additional paid-in capital
      • Outstanding shares
      • Treasury Stock
    2. Reserve Capital
  • Owners equity is calculated by evaluating the difference between the value of the total assets and the total liabilities.
  • The benefits of nclude the following:
    • Capital infusion
    • Not a liability
    • Low risk of default
  • The drawbacks of owner's equity include:
    • Cost of equity capital
    • Ownership dilution
    • Decrease in control

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    Researched and authored by Aqsa Wasif | LinkedIn

    Reviewed and edited by Aditya Salunke I LinkedIn

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