Bill of Exchange vs Promissory Note Difference and Comparison

bill of exchange vs promissory note

Most people are unfamiliar with a bill of exchange since it is not commonly used in domestic business transactions and is never used for personal loans. A bill of exchange is similar to a promissory note, but has some key differences. The maker of the promissory note is obligated to repay the loan according to the terms stated in the document. If the maker fails to repay the loan, the payee may take legal action to recover the money. The bill of exchange is used for the purpose of trade and commerce. The drawer, drawee, and payee are the three parties on a bill of exchange.

bill of exchange vs promissory note

At the same time, legal issues could arise for both the issuer and payee in the event of default. Because of this, getting a promissory note notarized can be important. Promissory notes can lie between an IOU’s informality and a loan contract’s rigidity. An IOU merely acknowledges a debt and the amount one party owes another. A promissory note includes a promise to pay on demand or at a specified future date, and steps required for repayment (like the repayment schedule). Bills of exchange and promissory notes are written commitments between two parties that confirm a financial transaction has been agreed upon.

Definition of Promissory Note

It is typically drawn by creditors (drawer) on their debtors (drawee) to ensure that they pay on time. The drawee must accept the bill of exchange, as it is nothing more than a draught without it. Acceptance is a key feature that distinguishes the two business instruments, as a bill of exchange must be accepted before it can be used. A promissory note, on the other hand, does not require any type of acceptance.

  • For this reason, bills of exchange are sometimes also referred to as bank drafts.
  • Some sellers may know nothing about the investments’ true origins—the notes may be for companies that don’t exist.
  • A bill of exchange is a negotiable instrument in a written format which orders the drawee or the debtor to pay a certain sum within the given period to the drawer or the creditor or the payee.

At the same time, Mr P had purchased raw material worth ₹ from Mr R on credit for three months. Henceforth, Mr P drafts a bill of exchange ordering Mrs Q to pay ₹ to Mr R, after three months. This draft was duly signed and accepted by Mrs Q,  making it a legal Bill of Exchange.

Bills of Exchange vs. Promissory Notes: What’s the Difference?

According to the traditional concept, cash is an inevitable part of every transaction. A bill of exchange is an unconditional order for the drawee to pay the payee following the order’s direction, whereas a promissory note is an unconditional promise by the drawer to pay the payee. Say Company ABC purchases auto parts from Car Supply XYZ for $25,000. Car Supply XYZ draws a bill of exchange, becoming the drawer and payee in this case. The bill of exchange stipulates that Company ABC will pay Car Supply XYZ $25,000 in 90 days.

If the drawer defaults on the note, the payee can enforce it in court. What are the differences between a promissory note and bill of exchange? There are only two parties in the process as- payee and the drawer.

Promissory Note Example

For this type of promissory note, a company will be typically seeking a short-term loan. Homeowners usually consider their mortgage an obligation to repay the money they borrowed to buy their residence. But actually, the signed promissory note represents a promise to repay the mortgage or loan, along with the repayment terms. In the United States, promissory notes are often used in when getting a mortgage, student loan, or a loan from a friend or family member. A secured promissory note describes the collateral—typically property—that secures the debt or amount borrowed. For example, if the borrower owns property, the lender can use the car as collateral until the debt is repaid.

bill of exchange vs promissory note

In terms of legal enforceability, a promissory note is more formal than an IOU but less so than a standard bank loan. The document must also be signed by the debtor and stamped to give it the validity required by the law before giving it to the creditor. To collect the cash on a future date, keeping you and the creditor must show the original note that was made. The bill of exchange and promissory note facilitates credit purchase and loans for the individuals, traders and the government. It also provides for economic and industrial development in a country by promoting trade activities.

Context of Trade

The drawer is the person who orders the payment, the drawee is the person who owes the money, and the payee is the person who is to receive the payment. A bill of exchange can be transferred from one person to another because it is a negotiable document. The individual to whom the drawee must pay the sum of money is referred to as the ‘payee.’ If the bill is with the drawer for the duration of the payment period, he is the payee. In plain English, the bill of exchange involves parties known as the buyer and seller. The buyers may also be referred to as the drawer/maker/payor and the drawee/makee/payee. How the parties are referred to depend on why the bill of exchange is used.

  • In terms of legal enforceability, a promissory note is more formal than an IOU but less so than a standard bank loan.
  • The drawer must sign and stamp the bill of exchange, which carries the order to pay the amount to the instrument carrier.
  • Private lenders typically require students to sign promissory notes for each loan taken out.
  • Promissory notes don’t have to be long or complicated, but there are some key items you’ll want to include.
  • They may accrue interest if not paid by a certain date, but that rate must be specified on the instrument.

The drawer directs its bank to pay the payee instead of paying the amount owed themselves. The bill of exchange creates a period of time in which the payment will be made instead of a set due date. However, as everyone who has ever followed an invoice knows, getting paid is not always simple. A bill of exchange is intended to hold everyone accountable for making timely payments.

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