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Construction glossary

What is Working Capital?

Working capital, in the context of the construction industry, is a financial metric which represents the operating liquidity available to a business. It is essential for managing the day-to-day expenses that arise during construction projects. It is calculated by subtracting the current liabilities (what the firm owes within a year) from the current assets (what the firm owns or can quickly convert into cash within a year). These generally include accounts receivable, inventory, and cash on hand. A positive working capital is critically important in the construction industry as it suggests that the company has enough resources to complete current projects without needing additional financing. It also underscores the firm's financial stability in managing its short-term obligations while still growing its operations. Without ample working capital, construction companies may encounter challenges in purchasing materials, paying subcontractors or meeting other immediate expenses.