Negotiable Instrument

DEFINITION of 'Negotiable Instrument '

A document that promises payment to a specified person or the assignee. The payee (the person who receives the payment) must be named or otherwise indicated on the instrument. A check is considered a negotiable instrument. This type of instrument is a transferable, signed document that promises to pay the bearer a sum of money at a future date or on demand. Examples also include bills of exchange, promissory notes, drafts and certificates of deposit.

BREAKING DOWN 'Negotiable Instrument '

A negotiable instrument is a written order or unconditional promise to pay a fixed sum of money on demand or at a certain time. A negotiable instrument can be transferred from one person to another. Once the instrument is transferred, the holder obtains full legal title to the instrument.

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