Glossary: Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is a legal document that documents in writing a sale of goods or transfer of property from one party to another. A bill of sale serves as legal evidence that complete payment has been provided in a deal and acknowledges that the seller has transferred the right of ownership to the assets detailed in the bill of sale to the buyer.

A bill of sale can be quite easy or relatively intricate– depending upon the type of deal. A typical retail purchase receipt can be considered a bill of sale, as it details the specific items that have been sold by the buyer and the particular sales price that was consented to and spent for each. The holder of a futures contract is normally offered a shipment instrument, which acts as a bill of sale, in that it can be exchanged for the underlying asset when the futures contract ends.

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When carrying out deals for assets worth significant sums of money, such as an automobile, it is very important to ensure the bill of sale is filled out appropriately and received at the time of sale. It is also an exceptional idea to have the bill of sale notarized if you are not familiar with the buyer or seller.

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