How to Execute a Promissory Note

The use of promissory notes dates back to Renaissance Europe.

The use of promissory notes dates back to Renaissance Europe.

A promissory note is a legal document in which one party promises to pay money owed to another. Typically, the party that executes the note is the party that is borrowing the money. He is also referred to as the "maker" of the note. The lending entity is known as the payee. Creating a promissory note requires notating the date, loan amount and terms of the repayment. Executing a note involves signing, dating and having your signature witnessed.

Create the promissory note. Write the loan amount, the interest rate and the repayment date(s), as well as the name of the lender and the address to which to direct payment. If any additional terms apply, such as late-payment penalties, include them in the note.

Create date and signature lines for yourself and a witness.

Sign the form in front of a witness. Have the witness sign as well.

Give the note to the lending party. Keep a copy of the document for your files.


  • If your note must be notarized, seek a notary public at a bank, government office or even mailbox facility and have her witness and sign the document.


  • Review your note with an attorney to ensure that it is in line with local, state and federal laws.

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D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.

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