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Long-Term Liabilities


Long-term liabilities, in finance, refer to debts or obligations that are due beyond one year from the current date or one fiscal year, if it’s longer. These may include loans, lease payments, or bonds issued by a company which need to be paid over a period of more than a year. They are considered as non-current liabilities and are crucial in determining a company’s long-term solvency.


The phonetics of the keyword “Long-Term Liabilities” is: lɔŋ-tɜrm laɪə’bɪlɪtiz

Key Takeaways

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  1. Definition: Long-term liabilities are financial obligations that a company needs to pay over a period which is more than one fiscal year. Examples include bonds payable, long-term lease obligations, or mortgage loans.
  2. Balance Sheet Placement: They are typically listed on a balance sheet below the line for current liabilities. The balance sheet shows the company’s overall financial health and these liabilities are part of a company’s long-term funding.
  3. Impacts on Business: Long-term liabilities are vital in determining a company’s long-term solvency. If the debts outweigh the assets, it may mean the entity is over-leveraged and will be high-risk. Thus understanding the nature, scope and size of these liabilities is important.

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Long-Term Liabilities are an essential aspect to consider in the world of business and finance as they provide a critical insight into a company’s financial health and sustainability. These liabilities refer to the debts, obligations or other financial commitments that a company is required to pay off over a period longer than one year. A company with excessive long-term liabilities may be seen as a riskier investment because it signifies that the company has a substantial amount of debt that it must pay off over the long term. Thus, understanding long-term liabilities is crucial for potential investors, creditors, and analysts to evaluate the company’s long-term solvency and ability to meet its financial obligations.


Long-term liabilities are fundamentally used for a business to fund its ongoing operational needs, invest in expansion, or for large capital expenditures required to enhance its productive capacity. They serve a critical function in enabling businesses to undertake large-scale investments that are meant to stimulate growth in the long run. These obligations are not due within the immediate accounting year, and can encompass things like business loans, bonds payable, deferred tax liabilities, or lease obligations that are due more than one year out. The use of long-term liabilities also allows for a smoother financial operation by spreading the cost of high-priced assets over many years, providing a more balanced financial picture and improving overall business solvency. Companies can leverage long-term indebtedness to ensure they’re able to meet short-term obligations without depleting their immediate cash reserves. Investors and creditors also examine long-term liabilities to gauge a company’s financial health, as a company with too much long-term debt may not be a good investment due to the risks associated with debt repayment.


1. Mortgages: This is perhaps one of the most common long-term liabilities for both businesses and individuals. When a company purchases property to use for its operations, it often does so through a mortgage from a bank or other lending institution. The mortgage, though it’s paid in monthly instalments, is considered a long-term liability because the full amount of the loan will not be paid off for many years.2. Bonds: Companies often issue bonds to raise capital. These bonds are a form of debt and the company is obligated to pay back the principal amount of the bond to the investor, usually with interest. This repayment typically happens over a period of more than a year, making bonds a type of long-term liability.3. Pension Obligations: If a business offers its employees a pension plan, it is essentially promising to pay them a specified amount of money during their retirement. This future financial obligation is considered a long-term liability for the company because the funds will be paid out over a long period of time, often decades in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Long-Term Liabilities?

Long-term liabilities are financial obligations a company owes over a period exceeding one year or its operating cycle, whichever is longer. This could include bonds payable, mortgage payable, long-term lease obligations, and pension liability.

Can you name some examples of Long-Term Liabilities?

Sure, examples include mortgages, bonds payable, notes payable, employee benefits such as pension funds and healthcare, deferred compensation, and lease liabilities.

How are Long-Term Liabilities reported?

They are reported on a company’s balance sheet in the liabilities section, listed in descending order of maturity after current liabilities.

How do Long-Term Liabilities affect a company’s financial health?

High levels of long-term liabilities may indicate future financial risk, especially if the company is unable to meet these obligations as they come due. However, sustainable levels of long-term liabilities can be a sign of good financial health if the company uses them to finance growth or profitable investments.

How are Long-Term Liabilities treated for accounting purposes?

For accounting, these liabilities are typically recorded at the present value of the future cash flows or at the money value received upon issuance if money is received directly.

How is the repayment of Long-Term Liabilities reflected in the cash flow statement?

Long-Term Liability repayments are shown in the financing activities section of the cash flow statement, representing any cash that is leaving the company.

Are Long-Term Liabilities considered some sort of debt?

Yes, Long-Term Liabilities are considered a form of debt. They represent the money a company has borrowed and must repay, spread out over a longer-term than one year but still due at some point.

How do lenders and investors view high Long-Term Liabilities?

High Long-term liabilities can be seen as a red flag by investors and lenders as they could suggest that the company has overextended itself and may have difficulty meeting its commitments.

Related Finance Terms

  • Bonds Payable
  • Deferred Tax Liabilities
  • Long-Term Debt
  • Mortgage Liabilities
  • Pension Liabilities

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