Select Page

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Accounting
  4. /
  5. Knowledge
  6. /
  7. What Is Owner’s Equity...

Edited by: Kimberlee Leonard
 and Reviewed: Kimberlee Leonard

What Is Owner’s Equity & How to Calculate it?

Author: | Jul 6, 2023

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Go Sifter Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Owner’s equity is the value of the shares issued by a company. Equity is incredibly useful in order to know the worth of what you own in a company. It is also very important to know how to find and calculate it correctly.

It all comes down to a simple equation. You take a portion from the total value of claimed owner or shareholder assets. This can often be referred to as “partnership” or “sole proprietorship.” Then using that number, deduct the full amount of liabilities. This equation looks like Total Assets – Total Liabilities = Total Equity, according to

The liabilities are key when conducting these types of calculations. They stand for the amount the owner is in debt. This could be to lenders, investors, banks, or other individuals with a stake in an asset’s purchase. What is the owner’s versus what is shareholder’s depends on who holds more of the asset.

Owner’s Equity Explained

Make sure you are taking into account all the important factors when assessing how your company stands. There is positive equity and negative equity. Having positive or negative equity comes down to a cumulative equation. To accurately calculate this you will need a balance sheet that outlines the pluses and minuses in your small business.

Consider the following as you make your calculations:

What’s Included in Owner’s Equity?

Essentially the value of your small business against the liabilities. Take the sum total of your company’s liabilities and deduct them from the overall value of your small business. This formula shows you exactly the difference between a positive and negative in equity.

Is Owner’s Equity An Asset?

Sometimes. After doing the math on a balance sheet you find the numbers in the black then you have an asset on your hands. It means you owe less to your creditors than the value of the company. Over time you will come to see the value in knowing just how much of an asset it represents.

Can Owner’s Equity Be Negative?

When you add up what is owner’s equity in your company only to find the numbers going red then you might have negative owner’s equity. You owe more in debts than your company is worth. Knowing how your numbers stack up helps you to avoid falling into this pit. Doing this specific equation can demonstrate how much debt you have and what it will take to close the gap for your small business.

How To Calculate

It’s fairly easy to figure out. First, add up all your assets related to your small business. This could be inventory, retained earnings, property, and capital goods. This will be your starting number for your calculations.

Next, add up all the liability costs. This should include wages, salaries, loans, debts, and outstanding bills. Create a sum total of this dollar figure. That number will be the next important figure as you calculate how to find owner’s equity in your company.

The last step is to subtract the liabilities from the assets. Simplified, it looks like this: Assets – Liabilities = Equity. The number that remains, positive or negative, is your owner’s equity.

What Is A Statement Of Owner’s Equity?

A statement of owner’s equity is a financial statement that shows the owner’s equity on a balance sheet. It includes details from a specific time period related to an owner’s account. This includes the owner’s opening balance and closing balance for a capital account, as well as hard assets such as real estate.

Increases and decreases from profits and losses are also factored into an owner’s equity balance sheet. This type of balance sheet can feature capital contributions or distributions as well. Overall this statement shows the change in what the company is really worth during a certain period of time.

Check your statements of owner’s equity regularly. Are you seeing positive equity or negative equity? Reviewing these numbers will help you to fully understand where your small business stands.

You can check out information on such business terms on Sifter’s accounting section.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Owner’s Equity And Examples?

Owner’s equity is a small business’ assets minus its liabilities. For example: a new company is valued at $1,000,000. The amount due on their startup loan is $800,000. Using the owner’s equity formula you’d subtract the $800,000 from the $1M figure ($1,000,000-$800,000) to calculate the amount of owner’s equity as $200,000.

What Are Two Sources of Owner’s Equity?
People Management Skills: Top 15 You Should Know

People Management Skills: Top 15 You Should Know

People management skills are usually in high demand and short supply. If you are a business owner in charge of employees you should look into the skills needed for management. There are lots of ways to not only be there for your staff in times of crisis, but create a...

read more
Employee OffBoarding Checklist: 7 Simple Steps

Employee OffBoarding Checklist: 7 Simple Steps

An employee offboarding checklist is a handy tool to have as a small business owner. Workers in your company will leave, either voluntarily or involuntarily. With an employee offboarding checklist–sometimes called a “termination checklist”–you won’t skip any part of...

read more