Contracts and promissory notes are similar in that they impose legally binding obligations, but they are interpreted and formed in very different ways.
A promissory note is a promise to pay a fixed amount of money at a set time. Rather than a present exchange of consideration (which contracts require), the promissory note is often “for services rendered.” Promissory notes are mainly a creature of statute. In Missouri, the primary statutory section addressing the requirements for promissory notes (and other negotiable instruments in general) is Section 400.3-104, RSMo.
Contracts, on the other hand, are for the most part governed by case precedent. Although there are statutes in Missouri which restrict what can and cannot be contracted (such as with Non-Compete Agreements), centuries of case precedent makes clear that a contract requires an offer, acceptance, and consideration.
Contract us regarding the drafting, creation, and/or interpretation of contracts or promissory notes in Missouri.