Tangible Asset

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DEFINITION of 'Tangible Asset'

Assets that have a physical form. Tangible assets include both fixed assets, such as machinery, buildings and land, and current assets, such as inventory. The opposite of a tangible asset is an intangible asset. Nonphysical assets, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, goodwill and brand recognition, are all examples of intangible assets.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Tangible Asset'

Certain types of assets receive special treatment for accounting purposes. For tangible assets with an anticipated useful life of more than one year, a company uses a process called depreciation to allocate part of the asset's expense to each year of its useful life, instead of allocating the entire expense to the year in which the asset is purchased.

To learn more about asset classes, check out "What is the difference between tangible and intangible assets?"

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