As it relates to matters of investing or finance, a non-negotiable is a term that is used to indicate that the price of an asset is fixed, and cannot be adjusted for any reason. The term may be used to describe the sale price of various types of securities, real estate, or any type of product or item where there is no opportunity to deliberate on the price. Non-negotiable may also refer to any asset or item that is not available for sale at any price.
When referring to the price of investments, one of the more common examples of a non-negotiable instrument would be a savings bond issued by a government entity. In many countries, once a government bond is sold, only the individual whose name appears on the bond can actually redeem the security. It is not unusual for bonds of this type to be considered non-negotiable if the regulations governing the bond issue forbid the resale of the bond to another party.
It is also possible for other investment instruments to be considered non-negotiable. When used to refer to the status of a security, an asset of this type may be called a registered security, indicating that the price is set and cannot be changed. Investors sometimes use the terms non-marketable or non-transferable securities to describe the same set of circumstances related to an investment that is non-negotiable.
A sale of property may also take place using a price that is non-negotiable. When that is the case, there is no opportunity to submit an offer that is below the asking price. Unless potential buyers are willing to pay the price set by the owner, the property will remain on the market until either the owner decides to sell for less, or a buyer comes along who is willing to pay the asking price.
Many businesses include non-negotiable rates in various types of agreements and contracts. The idea is to lock in the pricing for a specific period of time, preventing the vendor from shifting the rate structure upward, at least until the contract expires. At the same time, a non-negotiable contract for some type of goods and services is also intended to prevent the buyer from asking for lower pricing as long as the contract is in force. In reality, many of these purportedly non-negotiable contracts contain provisions that allow the buyer and seller to roll the existing agreement into a new agreement that does provide a different pricing structure.