Bill of exchange

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(BE). Bills of exchange are widely used to finance trade and, when discounted with a financial institution, to obtain credit.

The formal legal definition of a bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a certain sum in money to order or to bearer.

Expressing this in less formal language, it is a written order from one party (the drawer) to another (the drawee) to pay a specified sum on demand or on a specified date to the drawer or to a third party specified by the drawer.

See also