What Is A Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a document that records and signifies the legal transfer of ownership of properties, goods, or assets to another party or customer in exchange for money. This is commonly used to validate a sale of almost anything from vehicles to furniture and even animals.

This is usually drafted by the person who sells (the seller) and contains all important information regarding the transaction, thus putting everything in black-and-white. Meanwhile, this also provides protection for the buyer in case of any future disputes.

Why Is This Important?

Most, if not all, states require this legal document as a valid proof of purchase when selling or buying anything. For example, if you want to buy farm animals like cows and horses, you will still need a bill of sale as a validation. However, for the sale of items and goods of lesser value such as articles of clothing, the drafting of such document will be left to personal preference of the seller. On the other hand, if you are the buyer and you want to have such document, you can bring a bill of sale with you even if it is typically the seller who provides it.

What are the Parts of the Document?

The following are usually seen in a generic bill of sale. These are:

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  • The actual date of transaction or purchase
  • The name and address of both seller and buyer
  • The total amount rewarded for the transfer of ownership
  • The description of the goods and assets transferred
  • A statement that guarantees that the items transferred are free from offsets and claims
  • Warranties and representations
  • Signatures of both seller and buyer, as well as of the notary public

What to Keep in Mind?

When you are drafting a bill of sale for the first time, it is best if you take note of the state requirements first. Fundamentally, this varies so you have to know the specifics. For instance, there are states that might require only the buyer to affix his or her signature on the document. Meanwhile, others do require both buyer and seller to sign the legal document. Furthermore, other states require even the form to be notarized.

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