The 21st century dawned on the beginning of the digital age. Today, everything is either online or going online. You possess digital assets that perhaps you haven’t considered as a business. These assets, along with all your business assets, are valuable and need to be protected.
First, what are Digital Assets?
All business has assets, aka things of value. Assets include everything from cash and accounts receivables to buildings and lands through business vehicles and equipment.
Your accountant would probably include the cost and value of your assets on your company’s balance sheet, but digital assets can sometimes be overlooked. Digital assets are your company’s assets that exist online. Your digital assets can be stored on your servers or uploaded to the cloud.
Digital Assets include:
- Business photos. These could be images of your business or business processes. These are considered assets as they could be sold.
- Business sites or blogs. The content has innate value, plus the “look” of the site can be valuable once trademarked.
- Apps that your company or hired third-party professional/team has created, either to sell or for your use.
- Business processes that your employees have developed could be duplicated and sold.
- Client/customer lists, email contact lists, and newsletter mailing lists have intrinsic value since they can be sold.
- Online journals subscriptions have value for the term of the subscription.
- Online store products, part of your business inventory. They need to be under your control, even when stored online.
- Intellectual property and copyrighted material, trademarks or service marks, and patents. These assets can exist in paper form, but they are mostly only digital.
What makes Digital Assets Important?
Digital assets are like all valuable things your business owns and have great value to your business. Your business may claim expenses related to acquiring and using assets on your business tax return. The cost of short-term assets can be instantly taken as an expense, while the cost of long-term assets (more than a year) can be expensed over time.
These assets can be sold or licensed while you still own them.
Assets are valuable to both your investors and someone that wants to buy your business. The price of your business depends greatly on the value of your assets.
Digital assets, like lists of newsletter subscribers or customers, are useful in establishing goodwill. From a valuation or accounting perspective, the value of goodwill is derived from these lists.
Where Do I Start to Protect My Digital Assets?
Locate and List. Start by creating an exhaustive list of all your assets. Think of anything you have online or on your company server that has value. Look for proprietary items and things that no one else has and might consider purchasing. Consider digital assets as possible items you can sell.
Establish value and your ownership. Who owns Look the digital assets you have listed? It would help if you established specific ownership before protecting these assets. Can you prove that your business owns email or email lists? Consult with your attorney to write up policies establishing ownership.
Create agreements. Protect your digital assets via agreements with those who could take them. Have your clients, employees, and consultants sign non-disclosure agreements. These agreements notify them that theft of digital assets might result in legal action.
Register your Ownership. You can register most digital assets to show the world your ownership. Processes, business photos, and the content of websites can be copyrighted. Digital assets like designs can be trademarked. Plus, you can also patent processes.
Establish Digital Asset Protection Protocols
After setting up your digital asset management system, start documenting. Set up ongoing tasks for backups and timelines to review and update.
Seeking assistance for Digital Asset protection and Digital Currency use
Financial leaders like DBS offer trading services for digital assets and the Singapore crypto exchange enablement. Digital assets and cryptocurrency utilization are the future of tomorrow’s digital economy. DBS enables institutional or accredited investors to take full advantage of a fully integrated cryptocurrency, trading, and custody ecosystem for digital assets.
Many of your assets are online, so keep it secure by protecting your digital assets.