Deciding on whether to execute a promissory note can be very tricky. Many individuals residing in the State of Kuwait are not familiar with the laws governing promissory notes, let alone the definition of such, so they usually find themselves in court disputing the debts stipulated within the document. A Promissory Note is a signed document containing a written promise to pay a stated sum to a specified person or the bearer at a specified date or on demand. In the State of Kuwait, they are governed by decree by Law No. 68 for the year 1980 concerning the promulgating of the Commerce Law.
The following are issues that may be considered by the court when hearing disputes over Promissory Notes.
Who can issue a Promissory Note?
The above-mentioned law stipulates that the provisions of such law apply to merchants and all commercial business practiced (by merchants and non-merchants). Thus, Promissory Notes are considered commercial business, and in order to conduct business in the State of Kuwait, you should be Kuwaiti or in partnership with a Kuwaiti (unless a special law or decree applies that states otherwise). If the issuer of the Promissory Note is not Kuwaiti or an expat without a Kuwaiti partner, then such Promissory Note is invalid.
What are the elements of a Promissory Note?
In order to be valid, the Promissory Note shall include the following: (a) the phrase “promissory note” written in the text of the deed, in the language used in writing; (b) date and place of establishment of the promissory note; (c) name of the person requested to pay; (d) name of the person to whom or to whose order payment is due; (e) an order not dependent on a condition for the payment of a specific amount of money; (f) maturity date; (g) place of payment; and (h) valid signature.
Residents should be aware that they are not obligated to agree to and/or sign a Promissory Note, if the above-mentioned elements are missing, and the person issuing the Promissory Note is not legally able to conduct business. Further, if you have a valid contract in place, you are not required to sign a promissory note in addition to the contract.
By Najmah Brown, Esq.