Liabilities definition

A company’s liabilities are the debts and obligations represented on its balance sheet. They are the opposite of assets.

Liabilities detract from a company’s total value, as they represent debts that will have to be paid over time. The form of the debt can vary, but may include business expenses, loans, unearned revenues or legal obligations.

There are two main types of liability that will be present on a balance sheet:

  1. Current liabilities, that will have to be paid off within one year
  2. Long-term liabilities, that can be paid off over more than one year

Visit our shares section

Liabilities represent the future loss of assets, and as such are a key way of analysing a firm’s liquidity. See the fundamentals of a variety of shares here.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms

Contact us

Questions about opening an account:

+61 (3) 9860 1799
helpdesk.en@ig.com

Existing client questions:

+61 (3) 9860 1734 or +44 2078 960079

We're here 24hrs a day from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday (GMT).