What is Capitalized Cost?

Legal Definition
A capitalized cost is recognized as part of a fixed asset on a company's balance sheet, rather than being charged to expense in the period incurred. Capitalization is used when an item is expected to be consumed over a long period of time. If a cost is capitalized, it is charged to expense over time through the use of amortization (for intangible assets) or depreciation (for tangible assets).