Bill of Sale

Bill of Sale

If you’d like to keep the details about the sale of your car for accounting purposes or if you want to buy snowmobile from a private seller and you need documentation which could act as proof of sale or purchase, get a bill of sale to get you closer to home. A bill of sale (BOS) refers to a document, or a type of receipt which you can use to transfer the ownership of an item, in exchange for money, or another valuable item.

This document contains a host of information, among them, the names of the seller and the buyer, the contact information of the parties involved in the transaction, the item’s price, item’s description, methods of payment, and details of the warranty.

While used cars represent the items most sold using the BOS, they are not the only ones. You can use the BOS to document the sale of a laptop, bike, snowmobile, firearms, boats, as well as furniture.

The only catch is that you have to create a different kind of BOS for the item you are selling. If selling two vehicles, you must have two different documents.

Wondering if you need a BOS?

While some types of the BOS are not necessary for processing transactions, we recommend the use of this document to prove the sale/ purchase of property, and the subsequent transfer of ownership.

Types of BOS

You have BOS created for animals and pets, business, motor vehicles, general use, water craft, firearms, and aircraft.

BOS as the proof of purchase

When transferring ownership rights and obligations for vehicles, boats, or branded animals like horses, the BOS is necessary. This is because a buyer needs to show proof of purchase for the registration of the asset.

The DMV is one of the state departments that requires the use of the BOS to register vehicles and for title transfer. In this case, you will need the automobile or the motor vehicles bill of sale as a representation of the actual transfer of the vehicle’s certificate of ownership. Once you give the authorities the signed BOS and pay the title transfer fee, you can apply for the vehicle’s title.

States like Maryland, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nebraska and Wyoming take thing further by asking for the notarization of the BOS.

BOS’s role in filing sales tax

As a car dealership or even an individual vehicle seller, you will have to pay the government sales tax. To make that possible, you need the BOS as proof of the selling price.

What does it mean to sell an item on “as-is” basis?

By selling an item “as-is,” it means that the item is on sale with its faults, with or without warranty, and with or without some accessories. By indicating that a sale is as-is, a seller is safe from a legal suit should the buyer encounter problems with their purchase. It means that the buyer will shoulder repair costs if the purchased item breaks down soon after purchase. However, a seller needs to indicate that a sale is on this condition to avoid problems in future.

However, most sellers include a limited liability on sales, to sweeten deals. If you choose to include limited liability, specify what the warranty covers and what it does not.

  • Though the details vary depending on the item in question, here are the basic details for different BOS:

    • Names and addresses of the buyer and the seller, as well as their contact information

    • The date the BOS comes to life

    • The purchase consideration

    • The date of payment

    • Type of transaction: cash sale/ trade/gifting

    • Terms and conditions of the sale/ purchase

    • Warranty information is available

    • The description of the named item

    • The seller’s disclosure, if any

    • The dated signatures of the seller and buyer (if needed)

    • Acknowledgment by the notary public (if necessary for registration of the item)

  • What are the acceptable details under the description of the item on sale?

    • The serial number for equipment, furniture, aircraft, electronics, engines, boats, trailers, or bicycles.

    • Registration or identification numbers for watercraft, vehicles, aircraft and motor vehicles. This applies to branded animals too.

    • Odometer readings for vehicles, motorcycles, and watercraft

    • Color: this applies to any asset on sale

    • Make, model, or year: for vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, electronics, and equipment

    • Selling price

Are there circumstances for not using the BOS?

  • Yes. You cannot use the BOS for

    • Sale of small items: you don’t need a BOS when selling low-cost items like cups or an old rug, the BOS may be inappropriate.

    • Real Estate transactions: these transactions are too complicated, and you have to use different types of forms often available at the local or the state government only

    • Services transfer: The BOS is only valid when transferring ownership of assets not for services performed

What are selling today? Whatever it is and whichever state you are in, our bill of sale forms will expedite the legal transfer of asset ownership. Download your forms here!