What is in a Vermont Bill of Sale?
Unless this is your first time selling or buying a personal property from a private individual, you know what a bill of sale is, right? You see, this may be one of those things that your teacher taught years ago but, you may have missed that class, no? Well, we don't want to judge but, this is one of the important ones - it spells the difference between you selling an item legally and being free or liability or doing everything wrong and overlooking some details only to find yourself on the law's wrong side.
Still confused? Well, a bill of sale (BOS) refers to the legal instrument that recognizes a sale between individuals (you and an interested buyer) and then it transfers the ownership rights for the item on sale.
What this means is that if you are selling a horse, the buyer becomes the new owner of the horse, as well as the person that cares for the horse's wellbeing through the BOS. This document is a form of contract and as long is has signatures of the seller and the buyer, it binds the parties legally.
Note that the seller and the buyer make up the legal parties to a BOS and either party may have to present the BOS in court as proof if a dispute arises.
To get you started on the details of the BOS, we look at the details of where the BOS comes from first. The complete BOS which could serve as evidence or the document that absolves a seller from liabilities starts off as a free Vermont bill of sale form. This form has empty fields. By filling out and signing the form, you certify that the details in the BOS are accurate and the buyer may not sue the seller later.
When looking for that free bill of sale form in Vermont, you may have come across forms named differently. That arises because different forms created to determine what you use to sell that asset.
So, which are the standard details of the BOS?
Name and addresses: whether the BOS requires affirmation and acknowledgment at the notary public, the seller and the buyer need to enter their full legal names and physical addresses in the BOS. The reason why the BOS used to sell large items like boats go through notarization at the notary public is for the authorities to confirm that the seller/ buyer is who he or she says they are.
The dates: all BOS created should have the date the document comes to life, the date the buyer pays for the named item, and the date of completion
Seller's disclosure: This may not be a necessity for all the proof of sale documents, but you need to sign it if you don't want the buyer to sue you for not divulging details about the item's defects. Therefore, putting in a seller's disclosure means that you're putting it out there: that the item on sale has some scratches or that it may need some repairs. By signing it, the seller agrees to buy it with its defects.
Purchase price: this is the amount of money the buyer is giving for the item on sale. You should write the selling price in words first and then in number and in US Dollars. At the same time, you need to indicate whether the seller is trading that item for another or if the named buyer gets that property as a gift. Here, indicate the terms of the transaction.
Description of the item on sale: whatever you are selling has unique specifications. These specifications include make, year, color, size, model, registration number, or the serial number. These details vary depending on what you are selling.
Dated signatures: whether you are signing the BOS in each other's presence, with or without witnesses, the BOS is only final if both parties sign and date the BOS.
Types of BOS
BOS for Business
Once your buyer has the tax and revenue details for at least 3 years, financial statements, employee information, contracts, operating manual, insurance forms, the nondisclosure form, and even pictures of the business, fill in the BOS form.
The form will have the date of the BOS's birth, date of payment, and the name and address of the seller and buyer. It will also have business details like the state it was incorporated, the location of the main headquarters, and the business's portfolio or the seller's personal property in the business.
It also has the terms of sale and disclosures. To make it complete, the seller and the buyer, with their respective witnesses have to appear in the presence of the notary public for the acknowledgment of the BOS as proof of sale and transfer of ownership.
BOS for motor vehicles
Besides the standard details above, it has a seller's disclosure which describes the flaws and defects of the vehicle on sale. It also has the vehicle's VIN, make, year, model, manufacturer, odometer reading and odometer disclosure statement, color, and the body type. The DMV requires that on top of these details, the seller indicated if the vehicle is a rebuilt salvage, salvaged or if it's totaled.
The seller needs to issue a statement saying that the vehicle is lien-free and that no encumbrances preventing the sale exist.
Finally, both parties should sign and date the BOS. Notarization is not a necessity.
BOS for Boats
Other than the standard information listed above, the description of the boat must be accurate. Indicate the year the boat was manufactured, its make and model, the hull ID, hull type, color, length, and the odometer readings in hours. You may have to notarize it.
Are you a Vermont resident looking for a proof of sale document? Get any of our bill of sale forms online.