Distinction between A Bill of Exchange and a Promissory Note

   Promissory Note
    A Bill of Exchange


In Promissory Note, there are two Parties - the maker and the Payee.

In a bill of exchange, there are three parties – the drawer, the drawee, and the payee


A note contains an unconditional promise to pay. 

A bill contains an unconditional order to pay.


The makers of a note is the debtor and he himself undertakes to pay 

The drawer of a bill is the creditor who directs the drawee (his debtor) to pay


The maker of a note corresponds in general to the acceptor of a bill. But the maker of note cannot undertake to pay conditionally.

In case of a Bill of exchange, the acceptor may accept the bill conditionally because he is not the originator of the bill.    


The liability of a maker of a note is primary and absolute.

The liability of drawer of bill is secondary and Conditional


A note cannot be made payable to the maker himself

In a bill, the drawer and payee may be one and the same person


A note requires no acceptance as it is signed by the person who is liable to pay.

A bill payable after sight or after certain period must be accepted by the drawee before it is presented for payment.


A note cannot be drawn payable to bearer.

A bill can be so drawn


The maker of a note stands in immediate relation with the payee.

The drawer of a bill stands in immediate relation with the acceptor and not the payee.


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