How to Write a Legal Bill of Sale

Updated April 17, 2017

A legal bill of sale is a written document that protects both the buyer and the seller from any disputes that may arise from the transaction of an item or service. A legal bill of sale is necessary for tax reporting purposes in the transaction of automobiles, boats and other personal property. You can create your own bill of sale document to include the pertinent information or find free bill of sale document templates online and print them out for use in a transaction.

Write the date of the transaction on the legal bill of sale document.

Write the name, address and phone number of the buyer and indicate them as the buyer on the legal bill of sale document. Write the name, address and phone number for the seller and indicate them as the seller.

Indicate that both the buyer and the seller confirm the description of the item as given in the bill of sale. Record any warranty information concerning the item or service, if applicable. If the transaction involves an automobile or boat, then record the mileage, model, serial or VIN number and any pertinent information on the condition of the item.

Write the details of the transaction similar to "Buyer is purchasing Item from Seller for Amount." Write the amount in words and in numerals. Indicate whether the buyer paid for the item or service in full or if they made a deposit with a promise to pay the remainder in instalments of a specified amount. Write this amount on the bill of sale. Include the seller's policy concerning late payment fees, interest rates and the due date for the receipt of full payment.

Obtain the signatures of both the buyer and the seller on the bill of sale in the presence of a notary public to confirm that both the buyer and seller each fulfilled their part of the transaction and that their information is accurate.

Make three copies of the bill of sale. Give one to the buyer, one to the notary public and one to the seller. Save a copy of the bill of sale document on your computer as a backup.

Things You'll Need

  • Legal bill of sale document
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About the Author

Chris Passas is a freelance writer from Nags Head, N.C. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has written online instructional articles since September 2009.