Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Property location: This specifies the location of the item being sold, which can be especially important if the item is in a different state.
- Seller: This includes the seller’s information, such as name and address. This section can also list any additional sellers.
- Buyer: This specifies the buyer’s information. This section can list any additional buyers.
- Sales tax: This specifies whether sales tax will be included, how much it will be, and whether or not it is included in the price.
- Property: This section includes the date of the property transfer as well as any special conditions to the sale like “under warranty” or “as-is.” The VIN, plate number, and odometer reading for vehicles are listed here.
- Witness information: If a witness is present to sign the bill of sale, their full name, address and other contact information will be listed here. The witness can be either a public notary or a party agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
- As-is: This term means that the buyer is agreeing to purchase the item in its current state at the time of sale. By signing a bill of sale agreeing to purchase something as-is, the buyer is agreeing that they’ve had the opportunity to inspect the item and found it to their satisfaction.
- Gift: This identifies whether the item is being sold as a gift to the recipient, which will be important for tax purposes the following year.
- Trade-In: In the event one item is being traded for another, this section of the bill of sale will verify that the two items are equal in value.
- Certification/Signature: The signature of the seller and/or buyer, depending on the form, finalizes the transfer. In-person signatures are always valid. Digital signatures are valid if they are done through a certified digital signature provider. PandaDoc documents offer the option for legal digital signatures.
1. Florida Bill of Sale Requirements
A bill of sale is required to buy or sell a vehicle in Florida and is recommended for other major purchases as well. If you’re buying or selling a business, a work of art, or a valuable antique, a bill of sale provides legal proof of ownership and an official record of the date of transfer.
A sample bill of sale is available from the State of Florida, but you are also free to create your own document as long as it includes the required information. Having the form notarized is not required, but the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) department recommends that bills of sale be notarized for vehicles, and it’s a good idea for the purchase of any significant asset.
Completed bills of sale should be submitted to the tax collector for your county.
Why use one?
If you’re a buyer waiting for a new title to be issued in your name, the bill of sale is the primary document to prove your ownership of a vehicle or other valuable item and to protect the seller from any liability that might arise.
The state also uses the bill of sale as its record for tracking vehicle owners in the state.
Florida doesn’t have a law that specifies that the bill of sale must be in any particular language. However, the FHSMV recommends that if your agreement is in a language besides English, you should include an English translation so the staff can read the document and process it efficiently.
Number of Copies
In addition to the original, which you’ll file with the state, you’ll want at least two copies—one for the buyer and one for the seller. If there are multiple buyers or sellers, provide all of them with a copy.
If you are selling a non-operational vehicle as junk, you should complete the same bill of sale as for any other vehicle transaction. The salvage yard will junk your title for you. Most charities that accept junk cars as donations also know how to junk your title.
If you’re not selling or donating your vehicle, surrender your license plate and registration to:
- Your county tax collector’s office
- Any license plate agency
- Your nearest driver’s license office
- By mail to Direct Mail and Fast Title Services, 2900 Apalachee Pkwy, A330, MS 72, Tallahassee, FL 32399
After Purchasing a Vehicle
Within 30 days after the sale, you need to transfer the title and register your vehicle with the State of Florida. The seller should complete the transfer section of the title before handing it over to the buyer with the bill of sale.
Ideally, the buyer and seller should visit the tax collector’s office together so they can sign any missing papers onsite. Bring the following documents with you:
- Photo ID
- The vehicle title
- An Application for Certificate of Title
- Proof of insurance (your card or policy)
- A Florida Insurance Affidavit
- A Lien Satisfaction notice
- Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification
2. Florida Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
For a car, the bill of sale needs to include:
- Transaction date and price paid
- Certificate of title number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Odometer disclosure
- The vehicle’s make, model, year, body type, and color
- Legal addresses for the buyer and seller
- Signatures of both the buyer and seller
Ideally, it should ideally be notarized as well, but notarization isn’t required by law.
3. Florida Boat Bill of Sale
In Florida, the bill of sale for a boat can be identical to the one used for a car. You may want to include some additional information to identify the vessel, such as:
- The Hull ID number
- Any previous registration or title numbers
- If the boat has an outboard motor, specify the horsepower, make, and serial number of the motor
- If the boat includes a trailer, state the make, model, year, and serial number of the trailer
If the boat is being sold in “as-is” condition, the bill of sale should state that the buyer is accepting any flaws or faults, and the buyer is not offering any warranties or refund options.
4. Florida Firearm Bill of Sale
Florida doesn’t have any gun registration laws, and licensing of firearms is not required.
However, buyers and sellers of firearms in Florida must obey statutes that regulate gun ownership in the state. Certain age restrictions apply, as well as “cooling-off periods” and restrictions for people convicted of felonies or domestic violence.
The bill of sale is essential in firearm transactions. This document proves ownership for the buyer and could relieve the seller of liability for the use of the weapon after they relinquish ownership.
The bill of sale for a firearm should include:
- Seller’s name, driver license number, and address
- Buyer’s name, driver license number, and address
- The firearm make, model, caliber, and serial number
- Selling price (or indicate that the transfer is a gift or trade) and payment date
- Date of ownership transfer
- Buyer and seller signatures
This document should be notarized. The buyer should retain the original, and the seller should receive a copy.
5. Technology Bill of Sale
Computers and cell phones could be traced during the investigation of digital crimes, such as hacking or identity theft. For that reason, it would benefit the seller to have a notarized bill of sale on record specifying the day they gave control of that item to another person.
Be sure to include the serial number of the device and the date of transfer in the agreement. Spell out the features and condition of the device, and consider having the document notarized.
6. Horse Bill of Sale
Florida has specific statutes governing the sale of horses. The Florida Administrative Code (FAC) says that the bill of sale for equine transactions needs to spell out certain details:
- Proof by the owner or owner’s agent that they are the lawful owner or agent and authorized to convey legal title
- Any representations affecting the transaction, such as the age, medical condition, prior treatments, and any liens or encumbrances
- The dam and sire of the horse (if known), as well as its breed and registry status
The FAC also details certain medical disclosures and other requirements for owners or agents selling horses in the state.
7. Other Bills of Sale
A bill of sale isn’t required by law for sales of art, antiques, collectibles, and other significant transactions, but for liability purposes, buyers and sellers may want to sign one for purchases over $500.
Be sure to include the following information in your document:
- Buyer’s full name and address
- Seller’s full name and address
- Information that identifies the goods being sold
- Any information given by the seller that impacts the item’s value, such as provenance
- Any warranties or conditions for refund
- Any relevant statements about “as-is” condition or “final sale”
The buyer should keep the original signed document, and the seller should receive a copy. If the buyer and seller don’t have a previous business relationship, they might choose to have their signatures notarized.