Bill of Sale What Should be Included

As American’s, and leaders in auto bill of sale, vehicle bill of sale, and property bill of sale forms, we know the importance of protection, especially personal protection.

Regardless of whether you’re buying a motorcycle, a used car, or even a powerboat, you will need a bill of sale

Not only does it verify that you are the legal owner, but jurisdictions commonly use the bill of sale to determine the sales tax.

If you are buying goods (or assets) from a seller (sometimes called a vendor), it is a good idea to request from the seller a document called a “bill of sale”. The bill of sale is intended to protect the purchaser. The main purpose of the bill of sale is to provide a legal document that is essentially a “receipt” for the purchaser to prove that the purchaser has purchased the goods from the seller.

A bill of sale can be used for the purchase of any type of goods including automobile, boat, equipment, furniture, bicycle, paintings, or even intangible items such as a customer list or a website.

A typical bill of sale will contain various provisions depending on the complexity of the purchase. In general, a bill of sale will contain at a minimum the following information:

1. A list of the goods being sold including as much identifying information as possible including a description and where possible a serial number

2. A statement that explicitly states that the goods are being sold to the purchaser

3. A statement that the seller is the legal owner of the goods

4. A statement that the goods are free of any liens or debts against the goods

It is important that the seller sign and date the bill of sale. If you want, you may also want to have someone other than the purchaser sign as a witness.

Sometimes the bill of sale may contain other provisions such as a warranty regarding certain representations made by the seller. For example, if you are buying equipment, the bill of sale may include a representation that the goods are in good working order. Depending on the circumstances, it will be useful to include a representation stating that goods are fit to be used for a specific use.

The bill of sale is not a guarantee that the seller actually owns the goods. If it turns out that someone else actually owns the goods, the true owner will be able regain possession of the goods. However, in such a situation, the purchaser will likely be able to initiate a lawsuit against the seller for breach of the representation that the seller is the legal owner of the goods.

The use of various legal forms are useful for transactions and can be found online. Sample Bill of Sale documents can be found online. Please note that the information in this article is for discussion purposes only and not intended to be free legal advice. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.

About the Author: CanadaLegal.com is a directory and resource of Canadian legal websites. Find legal information for 100 areas of law, organized into 50 categories.

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Other FAQ’s

Can you get a bill of sale notarized after it has been signed?

Hi. I bought a truck from a private party and found out afterwards that we should have had the bill of sale notarized for vehicle registration purposes. Is there a way I can get it notarized after the fact by, for example, signing it again in front of a notary? Would we both have to sign it again? The other party lives pretty far away.

Answer
As a notary in the state of Iowa, I would say it total depends on the notary you ask. You would be asked for proof of identity and would have to sign again – either on the bill of sale or a separate piece of paper to verify the signature. You may be able to get a notary to simply notarize both signatures, however that’s a good way to lose your notary privileges.

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