W D Adkins reports:
"Whenever you sell something of value, it’s a good idea to provide your customer with documentation of the transaction. If you are the buyer, it’s in your best interest to have evidence that the item now belongs to you...A bill of sale serves to provide a written record of the terms and circumstances of a sale and to furnish the buyer with proof that ownership has been transferred to her. When your business makes a sale, the bill of sale is helpful as a record for accounting and tax purposes. Bills of sale are used -- and sometimes required by state law -- when a business sells cars, boats and a variety of other properties...There is no single format for a bill of sale, but it needs to clearly state that your business is transferring ownership of the property to the buyer. In general, the item plus a description is included along with identifying information such as the product serial number. Your [business'] name, the price, the date and the location of the sale must be written on the bill of sale. You may need to include the buyer’s name. A bill of sale needs to state if the sale includes a warranty or if you are selling the item 'as is.'...You can write out a bill of sale by hand. However, when you run a business and provide bills of sale on a regular basis, using a printed form is easier and saves time. General-purpose bills of sale are available at office supply stores. Alternatively, you can find bill of sale templates online and usually print them for free. A bill of sale should be made out at the time of sale and given to the customer after payment is received. As the seller, you must sign the bill of sale. For small items, your customers may not need to sign, but may have to for large transactions such as transferring ownership of a car. Give the buyer a copy of the completed bill of sale and keep another copy for your records...Some transfers of ownership, such as selling a car or boat, are regulated by state agencies. Typically, these sales involve property that requires a title. In some states, the title itself serves as a bill of sale. In others, a separate document is needed. States may require that a bill of sale meet specific criteria, so you should check with the appropriate state department of licensing for the type of property involved. You may also need to have your signature as a seller notarized. When you sell cars, vans and other motor vehicles, the mileage and a description of the vehicle’s condition or history should be written on the bill of sale. In some states this is mandatory."
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