Duhaime's Law Dictionary

IOU Definition:

Acronym for "I owe you"; a written acknowledgment of a debt.

Written evidence of a debt as between the parties; of an account.

An IOU is not a promissory note as it is not negotiable.

An IOU which exceeds the cursory wording of such a document may be a promissory note if it sets out a promise and otherwise meets the conditions of a promissory note.

A typical IOU:

Victoria, British Columbia
Friday, May 2, 2008

To W. Darling:

IOU $500.

Lloyd Duhaime




Megrath, M. and Ryder, F., Byles on Bills of Exchange, 25th Edition ( London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1983), page 325.

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