With all the different types of transactions that take place, especially between private parties, it’s crucial to have a testifying document to the terms of the purchase.

That document is the bill of sale, and it can be used for any sort of purchase, especially if it’s a valuable item. If the state requires it, the bill of sale can be notarized.

With that in mind, it’s best to create this document as carefully as possible. Using a bill of sale template makes sure your document is complete and accurate and can be notarized and applied for registration purposes, if necessary.

What Is a Bill of Sale?

The bill of sale is the document you draft with any significant transaction. It is proof that the ownership of the items was transferred from the seller to the buyer. It also contains all the relevant information on both parties involved, as well as the object of the transaction.

All main aspects are clearly stated to avoid any misunderstandings or future conflicts. The bill of sale is a straightforward document, and it only needs a few essential elements that underline the sale.

Apart from the two parties and the item sold, it needs to mention the price, the payment methods, and the acknowledgment that the item is sold ‘as it is.’

The car bill of sale is one of the most frequently used, but the fact is people, and companies use bills of sale for many types of transactions. From household items or animals to boats and even aircraft, anything can be included in a bill of sale.

When Should You Use a Bill of Sale?

Private parties usually choose to issue a bill of sale when the transaction involves a valuable item. The document represents an extra safety measure, especially if you also have it notarized.

But just because the item isn’t worth that much, it doesn’t mean you cannot sign such a document with the purchase. A bill of sale can be issued any time one of the parties demands it.

On the other hand, there are certain situations when the bill of sale is mandatory. The state requires that you issue one when you sell a vehicle or a branded animal, for example.

These requirements differ from one state to another, so it’s best to check with local authorities before a significant transaction to see if a bill of sale is mandatory.

What Are the Essential Parts of a Bill of Sale?

The bill of sale is a generic document, so its sections aren’t too many or complicated. Still, it’s better to write it using a bill of sale template, especially since there are many free templates available online. These are the main elements any bill of sale must include:

  • The date of the transaction.
  • Name and address of the seller.
  • Name and address of the buyer.
  • The price they have established for the item.
  • The description of the item sold.
  • The seller’s guarantee that the object of the transaction is free from all claims.
  • A mention of warranties, if any.
  • Names and signatures of all parties involved, including witnesses, if any.
  • The mentions and the state seal of a notary public, if necessary.


The bill of sale is a very versatile document, so people use it all the time for all types of transactions. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be written with attention.

While it is possible to have a handwritten bill of sale, it’s better to use a bill of sale template, to make sure it’s the best version you can create. Take a look at the excellent template created by CocoSign, you will find one for every document you could possibly need.

Bill of Sale FAQs

What does the term ‘as is’ mean?

When the bill of sale mentions that the item is sold ‘as is,’ that means that the seller doesn’t offer any warranty. It means the buyer acknowledges the current state of the item and agrees to buy it without the guarantee that it won’t have any problems or malfunctions shortly.

What is the odometer disclosure statement?

When you sell a car that is under ten years of age and weighs less than 16,000 pounds, the state requires an odometer disclosure statement, apart from the bill of sale for the car, to register the vehicle. That statement shows the mileage of the vehicle.

Does the buyer need to sign the bill of sale?

Not all states have the same provisions regarding this aspect, so you need to check with local authorities before drafting the document. But, to make sure the bill of sale is complete and accurate, and to avoid any misunderstandings, it is better that both the seller and the buyer sign it.

What is a promissory note?

The promissory note is used if the buyer doesn’t have the entire amount due at the time the bill of sale is issued. That note is an agreement to pay the rest of the sum in installments, over a particular period.

How do I avoid any future misunderstandings with the buyer?

The best way to make sure there will be no misunderstandings or conflicts after the transaction is to make the bill of sale as complex and accurate as possible. Add all the sections you find necessary, and all the details that can prevent future arguments.

All Bill of Sale Templates

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