Knowledge — 2 years ago

What is a Bill of Sale Form and How it Works

by Peggy B.

Bill of Sale Form, Bill of Sale

Bill of Sale Form - Everything You Need to Know

Selling used items allows us to get money on items we no longer need, and they provide others with the opportunity to get things they need at lower rates compared to new items. When selling or buying second items, you need to be certain that there is a legal record of the ownership, which you can get with a bill of sale form.

What is a Bill of Sale Form?

A bill of sale form is a document used to transfer and prove ownership. When people transfer goods between one another, they are advised to sign a bill of sale form. The form verifies that you bought/sold goods, meaning it proves that the ownership of goods has changed. Bills of sale are used when people sell/buy valuable goods, like cars, televisions, appliances, and other large items. aside from selling items, bills of sale can be used for exchanging goods, mortgaging them, and giving/getting them as gifts.

When a bill of sale form is signed, it provides legal proof of ownership. Also, a bill sale releases the liability from the seller to the buyer. The payment for the goods is just like any other payment, which means it is subject to sales taxes.

Bill of Sale Form

Bill of Sale Form in the United States

Bills of sale in the U.S. have been around for centuries, and the first Bill of Sale Act was suggested in 1854. The act was repealed and was eventually re-enacted in 1878. The act continued its development, and the final version was approved in 1882 as the official Bills of Sale Act.

The bill of sale received a legal definition that said it is a legal document made by a seller and a buyer. The bill includes a specific date in which the sale was made, as well as the location of the sale. Also, a bill of sale form lists the sum of money for which the goods were sold for. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines a bill of sale in a slightly different way: as “an instrument for the conveyance of title to personal property, absolutely or by way of security”. Another definition was coined by Bullen and Leake and Jacobs saying a bill of sale is “a document transferring a proprietary interest in personal chattels from one individual (the “grantor”) to another (the “grantee”), without possession being delivered to the grantee”.

While there are different definitions of what is a bill of sale, there are all the same in their essence; this type of bill is a tool that proves the voluntary transfer of goods, personal properties, or interest between two parties.

Bill of Sale

Conditional bill of sale

A conditional bill of sale is a bill that details the transfer of personal goods between two parties by way of security. When signing a conditional bill of sale, the buyer commits to pay money to the seller, and if not, the seller can seize the buyer's assets. So, a conditional bill of sale protects the rights of the buyer. An example of a conditional bill of sale is a secured loan; with secured loans, the lenders give borrowers money with collateral. If the borrower fails to pay back the loan, the lenders are legally allowed to take possession of the collateral.

Absolute bill of sale

An absolute bill of sale does not include any securities whatsoever. An absolute bill of sale form is a document that proves that a transfer of goods has occurred between two parties. It is a simple contract in which two parties state they conducted a transfer of personal chattels between parties.  

What a Bill of Sale Form Needs to Include?

Nowadays, you can download and print bills of sales forms online. Before you choose the most suitable version for yourself and sign it, you need to make sure your bill of sale form includes the following brackets:

  • The seller's full name and address
  • The buyer's full name and address
  • The date of the transaction
  • Names of previous owners (if there are any)
  • The price of the item (the amount the buyer pays for the goods) -this needs to be written in words and in numerals
  • Method of payments (cash, check, credit, etc.)
  • Agreed upon terms and conditions (dates of payments, interest rates, late payments, etc.)
  • A detailed description of the item being sold. If, for instance, you are selling/buying a car, you need to include its identification numbers, serial numbers, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate number, color, make, model, marks, size, etc.
  • Special selling conditions (for example – warranty)
free bill of sale form

You also need to make sure the bill of sale form is legible. Each state has different requirements when it comes to bills of sale, so make sure you follow your state rules when you want to sign such a form. After you make sure all the details above are included in the bill of sale form, double-check all the information and the signatures on the bill. Make copies of the bill, and have a backup copy in your email, phone, or any other place. Remember – a bill is a legal form intended to protect you, so you need to have a signed copy available in case something goes wrong.

A bill of sale form has been protecting sellers and buyers for centuries. In this day and age, you have to sign a bill of sale form to have proof of the sale of any goods you bought/sold. Moreover, you need to make sure the people you are dealing with are trustworthy and that you will not be lied to when you sell/buy goods.



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