A Closer Look at Owner's Equity and How to Pay Yourself As a Business Owner

When deciding how much to pay yourself, business owners should first evaluate the net profit they are raking in. From there, they should subtract their important expenses, such as supplies, rent, and employee salaries.

This statement is also useful for businesses seeking financing or investors, as it can demonstrate transparency and credibility. Monitoring trends on this statement can help owners to make informed financial decisions.



Owner’s equity is the portion of the value of a business that an owner can claim. It is calculated by subtracting a company’s liabilities from its assets and listed as an account on the business’s balance sheet. Capital contributions and business profits increase the owner’s equity, while business draws and losses reduce it. Growing owner equity can be a sign of a stable firm and aid in attracting loans and investments from investors. If you know your owner’s equity, you will know how to pay yourself as a business owner with clarity.

In addition to the money a company has invested in itself, assets include the property and equipment it owns. These are listed on the company’s balance sheet and other types of capital, such as accounts receivable owed by customers or cash in bank accounts. Owners’ equity can also grow through retained earnings, profits not distributed to shareholders as dividends but reinvested in the company.

A company’s assets must equal its total liabilities for owners’ equity to be positive. The difference between the company’s assets and its liabilities is reflected in the balance sheet, which includes various accounts such as retained earnings and common stock. Comparing the balance sheets from different accounting periods can indicate a business’s financial health.


As a business owner, you are responsible for all assets and liabilities of your company. Knowing how to manage your company’s financial health is vital for its success and long-term viability. A statement of owners’ equity helps you determine the total value of your assets and shows if you have enough money to pay your debts. A positive owner’s equity statement indicates your company’s ability to cover its short- and long-term expenses. At the same time, a negative one means you need more capital contributions or additional financing.

The owner’s equity statement is calculated by subtracting a company’s liabilities from its assets. This amount represents the value returned to shareholders if the company liquidated its assets. This is also known as the “book value” of a company.

When calculating the owner’s equity of your company, you must include invested capital and beginning and current retained earnings. Invested capital is the money the owner or investors put into the company, and current retained earnings are the company’s profits that have been reinvested into the business. On the other hand, liabilities are a company’s debts and include bank loans, wages and salaries owed to employees and utilities. These are typically listed on the right-hand side of a balance sheet.

A positive owner’s equity indicates your company’s strength and is important to show lenders when seeking financing. Keeping your costs low and your profit margin high can help you maintain your owner’s equity.


The company’s second financial statement line is the owner’s equity statement. This statement lists the company’s assets and liabilities. This is one of four key financial statements, along with the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows. It is also known as a statement of changes in owner’s equity or a statement of retained earnings, and it is typically created for a specific timeframe or accounting period.

Assets are a business’s physical resources, such as money, equipment and inventory. Liabilities are the debts a business owes, such as bank loans, accounts payable and payroll. To find the company’s total owner’s equity, subtract its assets from its liabilities. For example, a transportation/delivery service may have assets worth $100,000 — such as a fleet of trucks, repair equipment and a garage — and liabilities, such as vehicle loans, credit card debt and mortgage for the parking garage worth $15,000.

A company can increase its owner’s equity by investing more funds. This can be done through increased profits, bringing on additional partners or issuing more shares of stock to shareholders. It can also decrease the company’s liabilities by refinancing expensive debt with lower interest rates or reducing employee costs. A growing company can also generate additional profit by selling its inventory or assets.


As the name suggests, owner’s equity is the value of all business assets after subtracting all liabilities. This metric includes the capital invested in the business by owners and shareholders, plus any distributions made to them. The statement of owner’s equity sometimes called a shareholders’ or stockholders’ equity statement, is typically one of the first four financial statements that businesses prepare and is a snapshot of the cash movement in the business over an accounting period.

A company’s net income significantly increases or decreases a business’s owner’s equity. Generally, the higher a company’s net income, the more retained earnings it has to pay its debts and invest in new assets or additional business growth. A consistent loss, on the other hand, can only erode a company’s overall value if it gets a fresh infusion of cash to turn things around.

Investors also use the statement of owner’s equity as a gauge for the profitability and potential for a company’s growth. This is because it provides a clear picture of the company’s financial health and shows whether or not its profits are being reinvested in the business to increase its value or being distributed to investors as dividends and share purchases. Other items that make up a statement of owner’s equity include the company’s revenues and expenses, plus any other assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory, that aren’t used during regular business operations.

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