Pro Rata: Definition, Uses, And How To Calculate It?

Pro Rata

Pro Rata is a Latin term that means “proportionally.” In business, pro rata is a fair and equitable distribution method. With the use of this method, each concerned party receives a share that is proportional to their entitlement and contribution. This ensures that there is fairness in the company’s distribution process. Based on a party’s proportionate participation in business, the pro rata is used to calculate the reimbursement amount.

In this article, you will mainly learn about what is pro rata in business and how to calculate pro rata distribution using the formula. You will also learn about the ways in which pro rata works for businesses and how this formula helps in distributing reimbursements for participation. Finally, we will share with you the major uses of the pro rata distribution formula. Hence, to find out more, read on through to the end of the article.

What Is Pro Rata?

According to Wall Street Mojo,

This method is especially useful for calculating gains and payments for short-term or partial periods. In addition, it can be applied in various scenarios where proportionate distribution is necessary, including computing hourly wages, expenses, investment profits, and other liabilities.

If the company gives out something on a pro-rata basis, it will basically be assigning the amount or reimbursement to one person as per their share out of the whole amount. This type of calculation has a variety of applications in business finance, as it can be used to evaluate the appropriate portions of any amount of capital.

How To Calculate Pro Rata? – Formula

How To Calculate Pro Rata - Formula

Here is how you can calculate pro rata distribution for any given amount:

Pro Rate Share = Number of “True” Items in place / Maximum Quantity Possible


Pro Rata Distribution = Pro Rata Share x Quantity of Related Item

To effectively use the formula, here are the things you can do:

1. Gather Necessary Data

If you want to calculate pro rata, you will mainly need to gather three data points – the number of “true” items in place, the maximum quality of total items, and the quality of related items. 

Consider a situation where a tenant pays rent for 15 days in October. Hence, the number of “true” items in the rent is 15. However, the maximum quantity of total items amounts to 30 (the number of days in September). The quantity of related items, in this case, is $600, which is nothing but the monthly payment of rent.

2. Calculate Pro Rata Share

To calculate the pro rata share, you will have to divide the number of “true” items in place by the maximum quantity of total items. Using the same example as above, you will need to calculate 15/30 (for the month of September), and you will get 50%. This percentage is the portion of rent that the tenant owes to the landlord.

3. Calculate Pro Rata Distribution

To calculate pro rata distribution, you will need to multiply the pro rata share with the quantity of related items. In the example, the pro rata share came out to be 50%, and the quantity of related items is the monthly rent’s monetary value, which is $600. Once you multiply both, you get 50% of $600, that is $300. This is the amount of the rent that the tenant owes to the landlord.

How Does Pro Rata Work?

How Does Pro Rata Work

According to Investopedia,

Pro rata calculations can be used in many areas, including determining dividend payments, which are cash payments by corporations paid to shareholders. In insurance, pro rata is used to determine the amount of premium due for a policy that only covers a partial term. Allocating the appropriate portion of an annual interest rate to a shorter time frame can also be done via pro rata.

Basically, you can evaluate the proportionate allocation of a fixed amount. If you know how to calculate this figure, you can easily solve issues related to the payment of dividends. Apart from that, it will be helpful for you to determine insurance premiums or calculate part-time salaries. It can help you to determine fair distribution of a fixed amount in hand.

When To Use Pro Rata?

According to,

Pro rata is practical for business purposes regarding expenses, revenue allocation, capital and other financial scenarios that involve giving or receiving money from one individual or entity. Businesses use pro rata to ensure they accurately and fairly analyze and distribute financial figures. Businesses may also use pro rata when calculating the salary of a part-time employee.

The following are the major uses of pro rata distribution in business processes:

  • Businesses use the pro rata method to pay out dividends or cash payments to shareholders in the organization.
  • It helps to allocate the right portion of yearly interest in case the time range is less than one year.
  • The system also helps to discern the total amount of an insurance policy premium after paying for a partial insurance term.
  • It also helps to calculate the salary of a part-time employee as compared to what that employee would make with a full-time salary.
  • You can also divide certain expenses of businesses among a certain number of stakeholders within a set period of time.
  • The system helps to calculate loan payments on a monthly basis as compared to annual payments.
  • Based on the work and needs of different departments, you can plan a project budget to incorporate expenses.

Wrapping Up

Pro Rata means everyone gets their fair share – everyone gets their share as per the input they have put into the work. It basically works in sharing dividends with investors based on the proportion that they have invested in the business. This technique has applications in many areas, from billing for services to allocating business partnership income.

You can calculate the pro rata amount of an item by dividing the instance of that item by the maximum quantity of that item. You can then apply the ratio to any related item to find the same proportion. Do you have any more to add regarding the application of the pro rata system? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section below.

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