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All businesses are comprised of a variety of assets, including both tangible assets and intangible assets. Tangible assets include items such as cash, inventory, accounts receivable, and fixed assets. Intangible assets include both "traditional" intangible assets and intellectual property (IP). "Traditional" intangible assets can include the company’s customer lists, vendor relationships, license agreements, and noncompete agreements. Some intangible assets (such as customer lists) exist in the normal course of business. Other intangible assets, such as noncompete agreements, typically originate during the course of an unusual event such as an acquisition.1 Balance sheets of American companies are increasingly comprised of intangible assets such as those discussed in this article.

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