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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 can cover a variety of sales transactions like for vehicles, dogs, cats, horses and exotic animals and items such as furniture, golf carts or jewelry. A written Bill of Sale serves as proof of ownership and protects the rights of both buyer and seller.

The Bill of Sale does not just contain information about the seller and buyer, but also sets forth the sale/purchase amount or value received and describes the property being sold. There are two main types of Bills of Sale:
  • With Warranties - The seller warrants (or guarantees) that he or she has the authority to transfer legal title to the buyer and that there are no outstanding debts or liabilities for the property. In addition, the seller may warrant that the property is in good working condition.

  • Without Warranties - This document will also provide a receipt to the buyer for the purchase of an item of personal property. However here the seller makes no warranties at all,


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.

3 Wacky Sales Transactions (And Which Legal Forms You Need)

There are certain written sales transactions that occur all the time. Real estate sales, automobile purchases, and boat sales certainly come to mind. Finding the right legal forms to ensure a seamless legal transaction in these cases is not a big challenge: the right forms are easy to look up.

But some sales aren’t so traditional. While one person’s hobby might include buying a sailboat, another person’s hobby might be raising horses. One man’s motorcycle is another man’s unicycle. And the wackier the sales transactions gets, the harder it can be to find the legal forms to ensure a proper, legal transaction.

That’s unless, of course, you know the right places to look. Here at FindLegalForms.com, you’ve come to the right place to put even your wackier purchases and sales down in writing – and we’ll explain exactly how you can do it in three specific instances.

1. Exotic Animals.

It’s one thing to buy a horse, it’s an entirely different thing to buy a monkey. Horses are often viewed as investments, but exotic animals are – forgive the pun – a horse of a different color. Buying exotic animals also carries a certain amount of risks with it, and there are rules and regulations that differ with each state that need to be accounted for. That’s why buying exotic animals, wacky sales transaction that it might be, must have a grounding in rock-solid paperwork like the kind you can find here at FindLegalForms.

You’d be surprised how much more trouble it can be to buy an exotic animal if you don’t have the right paperwork to back up your transaction – it’s much better to take the attitude of being safe rather than sorry.

2. Ultralight Aircraft.

Getting yourself from point A to point B isn’t so wacky, but if you do it in a powered parachute or another type of ultralight aircraft, suddenly you’re breaking out of the proverbial box. Of course, even ultralight aircraft can be expensive, which is why it’s important to back this kind of transaction with a bill of sale that will meet all the needs of both parties and document exactly what’s happening so that you have legal recourse if anything bad should happen.

The term “ultralight aircraft” can refer to a number of different types of aircraft, as well, so it’s important that you do research and make sure that you have a legal document that applies to the aircraft of your specific purchase or sale.

3. Homemade art and crafts.

It’s one thing to buy a painting from someone – it’s an entirely different thing to purchase a home-made, life-size replica of Darth Vader from “Star Wars.” Of course, even these wacky purchases can use some solid legal grounding if you don’t feel right about your investment, but let’s face it – if you’re the kind of person who’s into Darth Vader replicas, you don’t mind taking a risk every once in a while.

Still, we recommend a General Bill of Sale form for this particular purchase, and you can find one right here at FindLegalForms.com.

Understanding Bills of Sale in General

When you buy something - or when you sell something - it’s customary to receive some sort of proof that the transaction has taken place. When you fill up on gas at the gas station, the automated machine will ask you if you want a receipt on your purchase. When you buy groceries at the grocery store, a long receipt will list off everything you purchased, helping you to understand everything that officially registered at the clerk’s station. These “receipts” are usually automated; but what about a receipt on something that requires a little more legal weight?

That’s what a bill of sale will be. When we say “bill of sales in general,” we’re not simply referring to an automobile bill of sale, but to a written contract for anything that’s been sold. Typically, this can represent large property from, yes, automobiles to boats, RVs - anything you have that’s worth a lot of money. A bill of sale is a way for the legal system to verify that both parties agreed to the sale for the agreed-upon price, and that the transaction was indeed valid.

So what can you learn about bills of sale that will help you in the future?

A number of things. First of all, it’s important to remember that putting sales in writing can be integral to making sure that the sale goes off without a hitch - and if there is a hitch, that you’ll have some sort of legal recourse to make sure that the other party fulfills their end of the bargain. This basic legal power is at the center of what makes the legal system work, helping you to avoid being cheated out of money or property.

It’s also important to recognize that bills of sale are typically more appropriate for the larger items you sell - for example, let’s say you were to sell an expensive piece of electronic equipment for a few thousand dollars. If you were trepidacious about making the sale in the first place, then you certainly won’t want to make the sale with only a check in hand. Why? Perhaps the check will bounce, meaning that you’re out of money and you’re not sure where the purchaser will end up. You want to have legal recourse should something unusual happen.

This is not only a great way to ensure a smooth transaction, but to give you the peace of mind you need to part with an expensive piece of property. Having a general bill of sale at your disposal - and you can find many printable ones available online - is a great way to give you the confidence you need to make the sale in the first place. If you don’t like using the Internet to sell things - such as finding people on Craigslist - then you can still use a general bill of sale to keep the confidence of a legal transaction on your side.

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