Bill of Sale Legal Forms

Bills of Sale are written contracts that record the transfer of property form one party to another and provide a written record of the transaction and legal protection should a dispute occur.

Bill of Sale forms for use when buying or selling personal property such as vehicles, motorcycles, boats, mobile homes, animals, equipment and more. A written Bill of Sale will serve as proof of ownership.

Bill of Sale FAQ

What is a Bill of Sale?

A Bill of Sale is a legal document typically drafted by a seller that transfers title and ownership of specific property to a buyer and affirms in writing that a transaction of sale has been conducted and agreed upon.

What types of Bill of Sales are there?

There are two types of Bills of Sale: an Absolute Bill of Sale and the Conditional Bill of Sale.

  • Absolute Bill of Sale - is simply a contract of sale of goods. It does not hold or represent any form of security.
  • Conditional Bill of Sale - to hold or represent a security. In this case an individual assigns or transfers property to serve as security for the payment of money.

Can a Bill of Sale be used for live animals such as pets?

Yes. Although pets (e.g. cats, dogs, birds) do not have title, pets are considered personal property. Thus, when you purchase or buy the pet you are transferring ownership of the pet from the previous owner (an individual, store, breeder, etc.) to the buyer.

What is the purpose of a Bill of Sale?

A Bill of Sale’s primary purpose is to serve as a legally binding document evidencing the transaction (i.e. the transfer of ownership/sale). In addition, the information on a Bill of Sale can help you track your personal or business assets. This information can be useful in conducting an audit or inventory control of physical property, calculating financial and accounting expenses and/or calculating tax deductions.

What is an “As-Is” Bill of Sale?

An “As-Is” Bill of Sale is a document whereby the seller does not warrant or guarantee the condition of the property being sold. However, even if the Bill of Sale does not state that the property being sold is “As-Is” then it will generally be interpreted that the property is sold without any warranties or guarantees. The “As-Is” statement provides more protection to the seller because the buyer cannot assert that the parties had any prior oral agreements regarding the state or quality of the item being purchased.

What are the requirements for a Bill of Sale?

Requirements for a Bill of Sale differ from state to state; however there are five general elements that must be present for a Bill of Sale to be enforceable:

  • Date of the sale transaction.
  • Seller’s Information, which includes the seller’s name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Buyer’s Information, which includes the buyer’s (purchaser’s) name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Sale/Purchase Amount or Value Received. The purchase/sale amount may also be referred to as the consideration amount.
  • Description of the Property Being Sold. The description of the property should be specific and detailed. For example, if you are buying a home, this would include the legal description and address of the property being purchased. In buying a motor vehicle, this would the VIN number, DOT number, serial number, etc.

Can a Bill of Sale be handwritten?

Generally a handwritten Bill of Sale will be a valid and enforceable legal document, provided that the handwritten Bill of Sale meets the requirements above. However, there are certain federal and state laws that require a Bill of Sale in certain sale transactions to be completed and signed on a statutory form. In these cases, such forms may require the seller to type the information regarding the sale.

Who signs a Bill of Sale?

A Bill of Sale must be signed by the seller. However, many Bills of Sales require that both parties (Seller and Buyer) sign. If the Bill of Sale is not signed by the seller it will be deemed incomplete and not legally binding.

9) What state laws govern Bill of Sales?

There are different bodies of state laws that govern a Bill of Sale and set forth statutory requirements for a Bill of Sale to be valid and enforceable. Typically the governing body of law depends on the purpose of the Bill of Sale. For example, a state’s real estate commission will have certain regulations that need to be followed when drafting a Bill of Sale regarding real estate or real property. Bills of Sale for motor vehicles not only are subject to state laws, but also to the applicable state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) requirements.

Where is a Bill of Sale enforceable?

A Bill of Sale is accepted and recognized in all states regardless if the document was drafted and executed in another state.

Does a Bill of Sale have to be recorded?

Generally a Bill of Sale does not need to be recorded or filed with a court or governmental agency (this may vary depending on state law). However, there are certain sale transactions, such as a home purchase, that require proof or evidence that ownership has been transferred from the seller to the buyer or purchaser to be recorded. In these cases, a Bill of Sale may be subject to recording requirements.

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