What Are Tangible Goods? Overview and 10 Facts

A blog for people who are interested in what tangible goods are. You can learn about the history of these items, their production, as well as see photos of them.

What Are Tangible Goods?

The capacity to touch is the defining characteristic of tangible objects. They differ from intangible goods, which may have monetary worth but are not physical things. Internet-based purchase of intangible commodities is already widespread.

However, tangible items continue to play a significant role in retail. In addition, they differ from services, such as spa treatments, because the result of a service is not a physical item.

What Are Tangible Goods?

Tangible goods include anything that can be physically touched, such as printed books, CDs and DVDs, lights, food, and baseball bats. One of the simplest methods to establish whether a product is palpable is to ask whether it can be touched or picked up. If yes, then the benefit is tangible.

Although technically things, digital files are examples of immaterial items. Downloaded video games, software, audio files, and films cannot be touched physically. Despite the fact that they may be purchased and sold as readily as actual objects, digital files are not intrinsically physical.

However, if a person purchases music files and burns them into a CD, he or she has created a concrete product from previously immaterial items.

One advantage of tangible things is that they are typically simpler to return and monitor than immaterial items. Usually, the only requirements for returning a sweater to the retailer are that it be undamaged and that the tags or ticket be retained as evidence of purchase. On the other hand, it might be far more difficult to return an immaterial good.

If a person downloads a music file, there is a significant risk of return fraud since the merchant cannot determine if the file was duplicated or burnt prior to the return request. With conventional computers, it is also typically hard for a vendor to delete a file from a distant computer once it has been purchased or downloaded.

What Are Tangible Goods?

Therefore, it is common for intangible things to come with free trials or samples so that the consumer may be certain of what he or she is acquiring.

Intangible commodities may have the disadvantage of needing a higher initial investment. For example, creating a DVD involves not only the original data or film print, but also the cost of the disc, packaging, and delivery. Some products, such as foodstuffs, may also have an expiration date, limiting their usefulness.

In contrast, non-expiring physical things frequently have the opportunity to remain on the market longer due to the capacity to resale used items.

Characteristics of Tangible Assets

They are corporeal, meaning they can be seen, felt, and touched.

They experience depreciation over time.

They have a residual or scrap value.

They can be utilized as loan collateral.

They are utilized in regular company activities.

Business Importance of Tangible Assets

Depreciation — The depreciation of tangible assets is a noncash expense. This indicates that there is no cash outflow from the firm as a result of the spending, but the company will gain a tax advantage.

Liquidity – Because current tangible assets are quickly convertible into cash, they provide liquidity to the organization and, as a result, decrease risk. As long as the value of a firm’s assets exceeds the amount of money invested to acquire them, the business is normally secure and solvent.

Collateral Security – The assets may serve as collateral security for loans.

In addition to the aforementioned factors, physical assets play a significant part in the capital structure of a corporation. The relationship between assets and leverage is favorable; organizations with more tangible assets typically employ debt financing to a greater extent.

What Are Tangible Goods?

These assets are simpler to pledge as security and do not lose a substantial amount of value when firms are in financial difficulties. Consequently, it has been found that businesses with less physical assets prefer to borrow less from creditors, and businesses with more assets tend to borrow more.

Valuing Tangible Assets

1. Appraisal Method

Under the appraisal process, an appraiser is used to assess the real fair market worth of a business’s assets. The asset assessor will evaluate the present state of the assets, including their level of obsolescence and wear and tear. Then, the appraiser will compare these values to the market prices for similar assets.

2. Liquidation Method

Cash can be converted from the assets. Consequently, it is essential for a business to be aware of the lowest amount it would earn from a speedy sale or liquidation. An assessor is employed to establish the value that an auction house, equipment seller, or other bulk asset purchasers would be prepared to pay for company-owned asset categories.

3. Replacement Cost Method

For insurance reasons, an insurer often employs the replacement cost approach to determine the asset’s worth. It assists in estimating the replacement cost of the asset.

Net Tangible Assets

Net tangible assets are the difference between the fair market value of a company’s tangible assets and the fair market value of all liabilities, where liabilities reflect the company’s external liabilities. In other terms, it consists of the total assets at fair value minus intangible assets and the total or external liabilities at fair value.

Importance of Net Tangible Assets

This figure assists in determining if the market share price of a firm is overpriced or undervalued. This may be determined by comparing the value of the company’s net tangible assets per share to its current share price.

A corporation with a high net asset value has less liquidity risk.

A company’s stock price can be supported by a high value for its net tangible assets, which can serve as a buffer against market volatility.

The Elements of a Tangible Goods

Not only are tangible things literal items that you can see, touch, feel, and in certain cases taste, but their features, branding, and packaging all identify them.

A can of Coca-Cola, for instance, is a physical product that is globally identifiable due to its distinctive red color and the unusual style in which “Coca-Cola” is stenciled in white cursive on the side of the can.

Physical materials, which may be biological or inorganic, are used to develop and manufacture tangible goods. Common physical items include computers, desks, automobiles, and mobile phones.

Types of Companies With Intangible Assets

Companies across several industries have a significant share of intangible assets. These consist of the following:


What Are Tangible Goods?

Copyrights, patents, crucial workers, and research and development are essential intangible assets for technology organizations, particularly within the computer industry. Typically, Apple Inc. (AAPL) would have intangible assets.


The intangible assets of entertainment and media organizations include publishing rights and crucial talent individuals. In the music business, for instance, intangible assets include the copyrights to all of an artist’s tracks.

Additionally, musicians and vocalists might get brand awareness. The music production firm may control the song’s rights, meaning that income is generated anytime a song is performed or sold. Although these assets lack physical qualities, they represent a future financial advantage for the record label and the artist.


In increasingly competitive industries, intangible assets such as patents on formulae and recipes and brand name awareness are vital for consumer products and services firms. Coca-Cola Company (KO) is an example of an intangible asset, as the value of its well recognized brand name is nearly incalculable and is essential to the company’s growth and profitability.


The healthcare business has a significant amount of intangible assets, such as brand names, important workers, and research and development of drugs and care systems.


Additionally, the car business significantly relies on intangible assets, especially patented technology and brand names. For instance, brands such as “Ferrari” are worth billions of dollars.

Current and Long-Term Tangible Assets

Physical assets can be either present or long-term. Current assets may or may not be physically present on-site, but they will have a finite transaction value. The most liquid, tangible current assets of a corporation consist of cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and receivables.

All of these physical assets are used into a company’s fast ratio calculation. Included in the computation of a company’s current ratio are other current assets. The current ratio indicates the extent to which a company’s current assets can pay its current obligations. The current ratio includes inventory, which is less liquid than cash equivalents but has a limited market value and might be liquidated for cash if necessary.

Long-term assets, often known as fixed assets, are the second half of the balance sheet’s asset section. Real estate buildings, manufacturing facilities, manufacturing equipment, automobiles, office furniture, computers, and office supplies are examples of these assets.

What Are Tangible Goods?

These assets may or may not be included in a firm’s cost of goods sold, but they have actual transactional value for the company regardless.

On the balance sheet, tangible assets are reported at the price paid to acquire them. Through depreciation, the value of long-term physical assets declines over time. Depreciation is a noncash balance sheet entry that diminishes the value of assets over time by a predetermined amount.

Since current assets are converted to cash within a year, they do not require depreciation over time. As an illustration, inventory is a current asset that is often sold within a year.

Why Is a Seller’s Permit Needed to Sell Tangible Goods?

Businesses in California are required to get a seller’s permit in order to sell physical products that are subject to sales tax. If you attempt to sell physical items without this license, you will be in violation of the law and might face hefty fines and penalties. Attempting to sell tangible things without a license will also discourage people from doing business with you in the future.

What Does the Permit Allow Your Business to Do?

You are authorized to collect sales tax on the physical things you sell if you possess a seller’s permit. In addition, possessing this permission permits distributors and producers to sell tax-free to someone else in the distribution chain.

What Are Tangible Goods?

However, they can only do so if the person they’re selling to has a permission and can produce a declaration indicating that the products in issue are being acquired for resale.

What Is the Difference Between Tangible and Intangible Goods?

Goods that can be physically touched, moved, seen, weighed, measured, or picked up are tangible. Examples of physical things include a vehicle, a printed book, clothing, tools, flowers, furniture, and DVDs. Services, such as spa treatments and software downloads, are examples of intangible products that do not require a seller’s permission.

Which Kinds of Businesses Need to Have a Permit?

A permit is required for the sale of any tangible items, commonly known as tangible personal property, that would be taxed if sold at retail in the state of California.

kThis license is necessary regardless of business type. In other words, whether you define your business as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship, you must apply for a seller’s licence.

Do You Need to Have a Permit If Selling Tangible Goods Online?

If your business runs online and the physical products you sell are housed at your residence, you are obliged by law to get a seller’s permit in California. This document is essential for any firm that sells tangible objects via a website, as well as if you sell items via online auction or classified services.


Goods that can be touched are called “tangible.” They are different from intangible goods, which have value but aren’t things you can touch. They are also different from services

Goods that can be touched include printed books, CDs and DVDs, lamps, groceries, and baseball bats. One of the easiest ways to tell if something is tangible or not is to see if it can be touched or picked up. If the answer is yes, you can feel the good.


Goods that are tangible include anything that can be physically touched, including things like printed books, CDs and DVDs, lamps, groceries, and baseball bats. One of the easiest ways to determine whether a good is tangible or not is to ask if a person could physically touch it or pick it up
Tangible goods means products that are of a physical nature, such as clothing or household items. Sample 1Sample 2. Tangible goods means all material, equipment, supplies, printing, and automated data processing hardware and software.
Tangible assets are generally anything you can physically touch—from inventory to buildings to copying machines. Intangible assets, meanwhile, are anything of value that you can’t physically touch such as trademarks, domain names, and the goodwill you’ve built up around your company’s reputation.
capable of being touched or felt; having real substancea tangible object.
Tangible vs Intangible

For example water is tangible while air is intangible. However, the real significance of these two terms is felt in the world of accounting where assets are divided into tangible assets and intangible assets.

Food – its cultivation, preparation and communal consumption – can be a form of intangible cultural heritage (Brulotte and Di Giovine 2014).
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Pat Moriarty
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