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What Is Equity Capital (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What is equity capital?

What is important to know about it?

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Let me explain to you what equity capital is all about!

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What Is Equity Capital

In business, equity capital refers to a type of capital that companies raise by selling securities such as common stock or preferred stock.

In other words, equity capital is capital raised through the issuance of equity interests in the business.

Equity capital represents an important way for companies to obtain the necessary financing to carry out their business operations and scale.

Equity capital can be complemented with debt funding and other types of funding allowing companies to raise enough capital for their needs.

Owning common stocks in a corporation grants the investor a residual value in the business.

This means that if the company were to be fully liquidated and all creditors, lenders, and debt holders paid off, the leftover funds will be distributed to common stockholders.

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Why Is Equity Capital Important

Equity capital is important for both corporations and investors.

Corporations can raise capital by selling common stocks, preferred stocks, or other equity securities to raise capital allowing them to fund the purchase of assets, invest in different projects, and pay for the company’s business operations.

Companies use equity and debt capital to raise the capital they need to fund their business.

When a company’s equity capital is positive on its balance sheet, it means that it has enough assets to pay for all its liabilities

However,  if a company’s equity capital is negative on its balance sheet, it means that the company’s liabilities exceed its assets.

Equity capital is also important for investors purchasing equity securities.

When an investor acquires company stocks, it is acquiring a portion of the business.

As the stockholder, the investor will have a residual claim on the company’s equity, will have the potential to generate capital gains if the stock appreciates in price, and can potentially receive dividends if the company has distributable profits.

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Equity Capital Formula

The equity capital formula is pretty simple and can be depicted as follows:

Equity Capital = Total Assets – Total Liabilities
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To calculate the value of a company’s equity capital, you’ll need to take its balance sheet and identify the value of its total asset.

You then take the total assets and deduct the company’s total liabilities to get the equity capital value.

Another way you can calculate the company’s equity capital is to take the company’s retained earnings and deduct the value of the treasury shares.

The formula is as follows:

Equity Capital = Retained Earnings – Treasury Stocks
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Equity Capital Accounting

Equity capital in accounting is considered to be all of the elements that appear on a company’s balance sheet in the equity section.

As a result, equity capital includes the par value of all securities sold, any additional paid-in capital received by the corporation, along with any adjustment to these values in cases the company redeems or repurchases shares.

By looking at a company’s balance sheet, you can see how extensively a company has financed itself through equity capital.

The larger the figures on the balance sheet, the more the company has sold securities to shareholders.

Companies typically evaluate their capital structure in such a way as to reduce their funding costs.

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Equity Capital Example

Let’s look at an example of equity capital to better understand the concept.

Let’s imagine that a company has a total asset of $10,000,000 on its balance sheet and total liabilities of $8,000,000.

The company’s equity capital, therefore, represents the difference between the total assets and total liabilities, amounting to $2,000,000.

Calculating a company’s equity capital is pretty simple and can give important clues about a company’s financial health.

When a company’s equity capital is progressively increasing over time, it means the company’s shareholders have a larger residual claim on the company.

On the other hand, if the company’s equity capital decreases or is negative, we’ll need to look at the company’s overall circumstances to see if it’s temporary or more long-term.

Negative equity capital for a long time can mean trouble for a company as the company’s total liabilities are constantly exceeding its total assets.

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Equity Capital FAQ

What is equity in finance?

In finance, equity can have different meanings depending on the context.

The most common meaning of “equity” in finance is to refer to a company’s equity capital or “shareholder equity”.

A company’s equity is calculated by taking its total assets less its total liabilities.

You can consider the company’s equity to represent the company’s net worth.

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Is equity capital an asset?

Equity is not an asset.

The term equity refers to a value that is obtained when you take a company’s total assets and you deduct its total liabilities.

As such, equity is similar to a company’s net worth.

When a company’s equity on its balance sheet goes up, it means that the value of the shareholders’ equity is going up.

What are the advantages of equity capital?

The main advantages of equity capital are the following:

  • The company does not have to pay back the investor’s equity investment
  • The higher the company’s equity, the more the company is considered creditworthy 
  • The company can choose to pay dividends or not to equity shareholders
  • Investors can potentially see important gains on their equity investment

What are the disadvantages of equity capital?

The main disadvantages of equity capital are the following:

  • The more a company issues equity capital, the more the ownership gets diluted
  • For the company, the cost of equity is generally higher than the cost of debt
  • Paying out dividends to equity shareholders can be costly as the payment has to come from after-tax profits
  • Raising equity capital is more costly 

What are equity capital markets?

Equity capital markets refer to platforms that companies can use to raise capital financing with the help of financial institutions.

Typically, equity capital markets allow companies to issue equity securities via initial public offerings, on stock exchanges, or over-the-counter markets.

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Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does equity capital mean?

In a nutshell, equity capital refers to the amount of money that a company has raised by selling equity securities to shareholders.

Technically, equity capital is the amount that company shareholders will receive after the entire company is liquidated and all the company debt is paid off.

You can find a company’s equity capital on its balance sheet in the equity section.

In essence, the company’s equity can be calculated by taking all of the company’s assets and deducting all of its liabilities.

It’s important for entrepreneurs, business owners, and operating companies to understand the implications of using equity capital to fund their businesses.

Now that you know what equity capital means and how it works, good luck with your research!

Payment in kind
Par value meaning
Treasury stocks
Retained earnings
Private equity
Debt capital
Capital structure 
Brand equity 
What is PIPE
Venture capitalist 
Equity capital market
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Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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