If you’re preparing to sell or buy a big-ticket item, a bill of sale is an important document to have at your disposal. This is a common document that helps to record a sale between two people or companies, and using a reliable bill of sale template is essential to a smooth and successful transaction. Read on to understand just how and when to use one.
What Is a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale is a document that records an important transfer of possession or ownership to a second party. Running a business often means buying and selling different items like equipment and technology. But some purchases are simpler than others. For example, buying office supplies isn’t the same as buying a company car — a valuable asset that warrants a bill of sale. A bill of sale form provides proof that you’ve sold a valuable item and are legally transferring the ownership as the seller to a buyer.
As far as legal documents go, a bill of sale is fairly simple and easy to use. However, in order for it to legally protect both parties, it’s essential that it’s drafted correctly. Downloading our lawyer-approved free printable Bill of Sale Word template is a safe first step to executing a successful bill of sale.
Who Should Use a Bill of Sale?
Anyone who is selling or buying something of significant value may want to use a bill of sale. Whether you’re running a business-to-business or business-to-consumer company, it’s important to understand when a bill of sale might be useful or even required
Most states require a bill of sale for a high-value item, such as a car, boat, animal and other personal property. But beyond state requirements, using a bill of sale for any item you consider valuable can help provide protection if a disagreement arises, not to mention peace of mind. Using our free template takes minutes to fill out and could save substantial time and legal fees.
Essential Items to Include in a Bill of Sale
Our free Bill of Sale PDF offers a general structure for you to work with. You can easily print it out and use it as-is or customize it to your unique needs. Be sure to check your state’s requirements for additional information needed. Here is what’s generally included in a bill of sale:
- The name and contact details for the buyer and seller
- The date of the purchase
- The amount of money paid
- A detailed description of the asset being transferred
- If there are any warranties on the asset or if it is being sold as-is
- A guarantee that the item does not have a balance due
- The signatures of the buyer, seller and, in some cases, a notary
Simple Steps for Executing a Successful Bill of Sale
A clear bill of sale is important for preventing disagreements from the purchaser after the sale. The seller drafts the bill of sale and transfers ownership to the buyer.
Here’s how to get started:
Download and print our free Bill of Sale template.
Customize it to your needs.
Fill out the required information.
Have the buyer review it.
Have both parties sign it.
Some states require a notarization. If this is true for your state, have it notarized.
Make copies for both parties.
Some Items to Keep in Mind
If you’re selling a car, a bill of sale is still important for documenting the transaction, but only a title transfer can transfer the ownership. An auto bill of sale also requires additional information about the car, such as odometer reading and vehicle registration number. Check with your local or state DMV for specifics.
Selling your property as-is or with a warranty offers differing levels of protection, so it’s important to determine which best suits your needs. If you don’t include a warranty, it defaults to an as-is sale. As the seller and author of the bill of sale, it’s your responsibility to represent the state and value of your property accurately. Withholding information about it or misrepresenting it to the buyer can render it null and void.
A Successful Bill of Sale and Beyond
Be sure to check the specific guidelines for your state. Our customizable bill of sale is a strong starting point regardless of what state you’re using it in. Check out other resources and templates we provide that can help support your individual needs.