Explain and Learn, Bill of Exchange: Content, Parties, and Advantages!
The Concept of the study Explains – Bill of Exchange: Content of Bill of Exchange, Parties of Bill of Exchange, and Advantages of Bill of Exchange! Definition of Bill of Exchange: Bill of Exchange, can be understood as a written negotiable instrument, that carries an unconditional order to pay a specified sum of money to a designated person or the holder of the instrument, as directed in the instrument by the maker. The bill of exchange is either payable on demand, or after a specified term. Also learned, Bill of Exchange: Content, Parties, and Advantages!
In a business transaction, when the goods are sold on credit to the buyer, the seller can make the bill and send it to the buyer for acceptance, which contains the details such as name and address of the seller and buyer, amount of bill, maturity date, signature, and so forth.
- An instrument which a creditor draws upon his debtor.
- It carries an absolute order to pay a specified sum.
- The sum is payable to the person whose name is mentioned in the bill or to any other person, or the order of the drawer, or to the bearer of the instrument.
- It requires to be stamped, duly signed by the maker and accepted by the drawee.
- It contains the date by which the sum should be paid to the creditor.
Sam gives a loan of Rs.1,00,000 to Alex, which Alex has to return after three months. Further, Joseph has bought certain goods from Peter, on credit for Rs. 1,00,000. Now, Joseph can create a document directing Alex, to pay Rs. 1,00,000 to Peter, after three months. The instrument will be called as Bill of Exchange, which is transferred to Peter, on whom the payment is due, for the goods purchased from him.
Parties to a Bill of Exchange:
There are three parties viz. ‘Drawer’, ‘Drawee’ and ‘Payee’ to a bill of exchange.
- Drawer: A bill of exchange is drawn upon the buyer/debtor by the seller/creditor and the drawer is the person who makes and draws the bill. The drawer is entitled to receive money from the debtor.
- Drawee: The person upon whom the bill of exchange is drawn is known as drawee. Bill of exchange is drawn on the drawee who is the purchaser of goods. The Drawee of a bill is called the acceptor when he writes the words “accepted” and puts his signatures on it. This process is known as acceptance. After acceptance, the bill of exchange becomes a legal document. This document now binds the drawee to honor the bill on the due date. This acceptance may be general or qualified. In the case of general acceptance, without stating any conditions, the only sign of the acceptor is required. However, in the case of qualified acceptance, the name of the bank or specified place for payment is mentioned.
- Payee: The person to whom the payment is made is known as payee. In some cases, the drawer of the bill also becomes the payee when he himself keeps the bill till the date of maturity. Drawer and Payee is usually the same person.
However, in the following cases drawer and payee are two different persons:
(i) When the bill is discounted by the drawer, the person who discounted the bill becomes the payee.
(ii) When the bill is endorsed to a creditor, the endorsee will become the payee.
The content of Bills of Exchange:
The contents of bills of exchange are as under:
- Date: The date of the bill on which it is drawn should be written on the top right comer of the bill. This aspect is very important to determine the maturity date of the bill.
- Term: This is the tenure of the bill and runs from the date of the bill. This should be specified in the body of the bill. The grace period of three days should be given after the expiry of the term from the date of the bill.
- Amount: Amount of the bill should be given both in figures and words. The amount in figures should be mentioned on the top left corner of the bill and amount in words should be mentioned in the body of the bill.
- Stamp: Stamp of proper value which depends on the amount of bill shall be affixed on the bills of exchange.
- Parties: There may be three parties to the bills of exchange, drawer, drawee, and payee. However, in some cases, drawer and payee may be the same person. All the names of the parties and their addresses should also be invariably mentioned in the bills of exchange.
- For Value Received: This aspect is most important in the sense that law does not consider those agreements which have been made without consideration. Consideration means in lieu of and in the context of bills of exchange, it means that the bill has been issued in exchange of some consideration i.e., benefit has already been received.
Advantages of Bills of Exchange:
The bills of exchange are used frequently in business as an instrument of credit due to the following reasons:
- Legal Relationship: Issuing bills of exchange provides a framework which converts and establishes a legal relationship between seller and buyer, from creditor and debtor to drawer and drawee. In the case of any dispute between the parties, this relationship provides a conclusive proof in the court of law.
- Terms and Conditions: Bill of exchange contains all terms and conditions of payments viz., amount of the bill, date of payment, place of payment, interest to be paid if any. The maturity date of the bill is also known to the parties to the bill so they can make necessary arrangement for funds.
- Mode of Credit: Bill of exchange has been defined as a negotiable instrument under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. The buyer can buy the goods on credit and pay after the period of credit with the help of bill of exchange. In case of urgency, the drawer can also get the payment by discounting the bill from the bank and without waiting for the maturity period.
- Easy Transferability: Bill of exchange can be used for settling the debt of the creditors. Mere delivery and endorsement of the bill give a valid title to the endorsee.
- Wider Acceptance: In case of the foreign bill, wider acceptance is given to the parties through which payments can be received and made easily.
- Mutual Accommodation: Sometimes, the bill can be issued for mutually accommodating the parties so that financial help can be given to each other.