A liability is an accounting term for anything of value a company or an individual owes. Liabilities can include financial liabilities usually debt or fixed goods which have yet to be delivered. Publicly-traded companies are required to list a summary of their assets and liabilities every quarter on their balance sheet, where accounting rules determine how liabilities are categorized and valued. The opposite of a liability is an asset - something of positive value, or something the company owns.
From an accounting perspective, liabilities are divided into two broad categories:
Current liabilities are debts or obligations which are due within a year. Current liabilities are reported on the company's balance sheet and include Short-Term Debt, accrued liabilities and Accounts payable.
Long-term liabilities are liabilities that will not be paid off or are not due within a year. Long-term liabilities are also reported on the company's balance sheet and include items such as long-term bank loans and bonds issued by the company. They are generally subject to interest payments. Examples include: company cars, computers and investment in another company.