Difference Between Fixed Capital and Working Capital

Pine Labs : Default

By Pine Labs | August 01, 2022

Fixed capital is defined as the assets or investments needed to establish and operate a business, such as property or equipment. Usually, working capital refers to cash or other liquid assets that an organisation uses to finance day-to-day operations such as payroll and bill payments.

A business must make capital investments to run effectively. The resources, wealth or money are required to acquire or equip the tools necessary for them to produce goods or perform services. Both fixed capital and operating cash are essential for their business enterprise. By using these two capitals, an entrepreneur can maintain a perfect equilibrium between their assets and liabilities and work toward generating more significant revenue.

Here we discuss the difference between fixed and working capital and highlight some examples to understand them better. Continue reading to understand how working capital for retailers and SMEs can be utilised effectively with proper understanding.

What are Fixed Capital and Working Capital?

Fixed Capital - How does it work?

Fixed assets are the company's earliest and most significant investments and are continuously utilised in production. The money used to purchase long-term or fixed assets is referred to as fixed capital.

While both working capital and fixed capital are essential for the operation of a successful firm, they are two different kinds of capital. And one must be able to differentiate between fixed capital and working capital.

A business's fixed capital comprises the real estate, buildings, furnishings, and tools it utilises regularly. Additional long-term assets invested by the entrepreneur could be cars, houses, and construction equipment. These cannot be liquidated (or converted into cash), but they can always be resold and used again.


Assets that are both tangible and long-lasting but nevertheless required for production make up fixed capital. Fixed capital refers to machinery, vehicles, additional equipment, plants, buildings, and other structures.

Although fixed-capital assets are often written off over a long time in a company's financial statements, the Section 179 deduction occasionally allows for a one-time deduction. To identify which assets qualify as fixed capital, you need to comprehend the basic purpose of an asset.

Working Capital: How does it work?

The difference between a company's current assets (what you have) and liabilities (what you owe) is known as working capital. This number reflects your operational effectiveness and your business's liquidity and short-term financial stability.


Current assets are those a corporation owns that can be dissolved within a year. Current obligations are the past-due payments that an organisation must make in the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to current liabilities, which include short-term loans, bank overdrafts, creditors, tax provisions, and other similar obligations, existing assets include inventories, cash on hand, debtors, and so on.

Working capital is used to finance an organisation's short-term business activity, which is one way that it differs from fixed capital. A company might grow with the use of working cash. Without working capital, a business finds it challenging to expand, settle debt, and turn a profit (or continue to do so).

Small business owners frequently turn to working capital business loans to cover the gaps when they run out of working capital.

Because your business depends on these investments and assets to stay operational and provide services to clients, this fixed capital or assets can assure its long-term health. On the other hand, your company's working capital maintains its short-term health. If you have cash in hand or other liquid assets, you may refill inventory, make timely employee payments, pay taxes, and fulfil any other regular commitments.

Difference Between Fixed Capital and Working Capital

Fixed capital and working capital are primarily distinguished by the capital invested by the company in acquiring the fixed assets needed for the operation of the business.

The following components will help you differentiate between fixed and working capital:

  • Fixed capital is the portion of an organisation's total capital allocated to long-term investments. The money required to operate a business daily is known as working capital.
  • Durable goods that will remain in the company for more than one accounting period are fixed capital investments. On the other hand, the company's working capital is made up of current assets and liabilities.
  • Working capital is used for short-term financing, whereas fixed capital is utilised to purchase non-current assets for the company.

Key Differences Between Fixed Capital & Working Capital


Fixed Capital

Working Capital


Putting money into an organisation's long-term assets.

Refers to money put in a company's current assets.

Kinds of assets acquired

Used to purchase non-current assets for the firm

Used to but the company's current assets

How liquid is it?

Not at all liquid.

Extremely liquid.


It can't be converted into cash or kind immediately.

It can be converted into cash or in kind immediately.


Serves the business for an extended period

Serves the business for a concise period

Accounting period

It offers benefits for more than one accounting period.

It offers benefits for less than one accounting period.


Serves strategy-oriented goals.

Serves operational goals.


It doesn't directly consume the business but serves the business indirectly.

Business needs working capital to operate.


Fixed and Working capital are essential for a business to run and endure. After examining the arguments above, it is clear that total capital, also referred to as fixed capital and working capital, are not intrinsically at odds with one another. They function in tandem because working capital is necessary to use the company's fixed assets; otherwise, there is no point in having machinery and equipment if raw materials aren't being used to produce goods.

Furthermore, implying that one is more crucial than the other is incorrect. Working capital thus ensures the profitable utilisation of the company's fixed assets. However, it is impossible to launch a business without a fixed capital. Additionally, once a business is up and running, it is impossible to operate without working capital.

Therefore, both of them require specific attention from every firm. But it's also crucial to make the correct investments in assets that the company can utilise frequently and profit from. Hopefully, the information shared above will guide you to take a call on whether you need fixed capital or working capital to run your business operations effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Q1. What exactly is fixed capital?

Ans: Fixed capital is the cash used to purchase long-term or capital equipment.

The most substantial investments a business makes are fixed assets, which are continuously used in production.

Q2. What distinguishes fixed capital from operating capital?

Ans: The amount of money the company spends on purchasing the fixed assets required for the functioning of the business serves as the primary distinction between fixed capital and working capital. While fixed capital is used to buy the company's non-current assets, working capital is used for short-term financing.

Q3. What are some instances of working capital?

Ans: Using working capital could help a business expand. Without working capital, it is hard for a business to grow, pay off debt, and earn a profit (or continue to do so).

Q4. What exactly is the working capital?

Ans: Working capital is the term used to describe a business's funds available to support its ongoing activities. It measures the company's short-term financial strength and shows its capacity to pay current liabilities and debt obligations within a year.

Q5. What qualifies as a fixed capital?

Ans: All tangible assets are fixed assets, including land, buildings, plants and machinery, and fixed equipment like machinery, furniture, fixtures, vehicles, or office equipment.

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