Skip to main content Skip to footer
Task management

What is a simple bill of sale and why do you need one? 9 min read
Get started

Whenever you buy or sell something, you have to protect yourself and your business. Even a misunderstanding between two parties during a transaction can lead to future disputes, lawsuits, and worse.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to protect the seller and buyer from misunderstandings: create a simple bill of sale using a customizable template. This guide explains what a simple bill of sale is, why you should use a simple bill of sale template, and how you can turbocharge your bookkeeping with’s simple bill of sale template.

Get the template

What is a simple bill of sale?

A simple bill of sale is a legal document that records a transfer of property or a sale from one party to another; it’s the legal proof of a completed transaction.

Download Excel template

A bill of sale can take many different forms, from a promissory note to a purchase receipt from a retail store that details information like: a list of the goods sold, the price, date, sales tax, and so on.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a huge corporation, a remote startup, or selling cars on eBay. If you’re buying or selling an item or service, you should always make sure there’s a simple bill of sale involved. This grants proof of ownership to the buyer and protects you by proving you’ve sold that asset to the buyer.

Why use a simple bill of sale template?

In some states, you’re legally required to issue a bill of sale if you’re buying or selling a car or animal.

It’s also important to remember that a bill of sale is a legally binding document — which means you need to comply with your local state requirements when writing up a bill of sale. For example, in some states, only a buyer needs to sign a simple bill of sale. In other states, both the buyer and the seller need to sign. A few states even require a bill of sale to be notarized.

Bearing all that in mind, it’s safe to say there can be a bit of pressure involved when it comes to getting a bill of sale 100% right. That’s why so many individuals and businesses use a simple bill of sale template. Beyond that though, a simple bill of sale has two other benefits.

1. A template saves time and effort

A simple bill of sale template is a pre-designed sales receipt that you can customize with details of a unique transaction. Starting with a template saves you a lot of time and effort By streamlining the process if you’re dealing with a high volume of sales or are pressed for time.

screenshot of simple bill of sale dashboard example

2. Avoid confusion with a standardized format

But more importantly, a simple bill of sale template prevents confusion. If you’re new to bills of sale or don’t have a bookkeeper, a comprehensive bill of sale template makes sure all your bases are covered, and no detail is forgotten.

You’ll see several bill of sale templates on the web — and the right template will normally depend on the type of item you’re selling. We’re not just here to define a bill of sale; to help you wade through these template types, let’s look at a few of the most common simple bill of sale templates.

So without further ado, what are some examples of simple bill of sale templates?

Motor vehicle bill of sale template

A motor vehicle bill of sale template is a pre-tailored document you can use to create a custom receipt for the sale of a car, van, truck, motorcycle, or any other kind of vehicle.

Screenshot of motor vehicle bill of sale template

(Image Source)

The benefit of using a motor vehicle bill of sale template is that the fields in your pre-made template are all specific to car sales. For example, a motor vehicle bill of sale template will normally include a space for information like the make and model of the car, year of the car, the vehicle identification number (VIN) and mileage via an odometer reading.

The buyer will then need to present the bill of sale to register a vehicle. Microsoft Office offers a motor vehicle bill of sale template, but you can find similar and fully customizable templates on a wide range of external sites and apps.

As-is bill of sale template

An as-is bill of sale template is a pre-built bill of sale template designed specifically for when an item is sold in as-is condition regardless of any existing faults.

You might get an as-is bill of sale if you purchase a motorhome that was missing an engine. As the buyer, you’re aware from the get-go that the motor home isn’t in mint condition, and this protects the seller from you coming back later and claiming otherwise.

Screenshot of as-is bill of sale template

(Image Source)

As-is bill of sale templates normally include the same fields as a generic bill of sale template. The only key difference is that there should be a column for notes in which the seller can detail any existing faults with the product.

Conditional bill of sale template

A conditional bill of sale template is a pre-made document for sales in which ownership of an asset depends on certain conditions. For example, you might borrow money from a bank to buy an item as part of a conditional bill of sale. But as part of the terms of borrowing, that item will only remain in your possession if you keep making regular payments and honor the agreement.

Screenshot of conditional bill of sale template

(Image Source)

Just like the other bill of sale template styles we’ve covered, you can find conditional bill of sale templates on a number of sites and apps, including — but more on that in a minute.’s simple bill of sale template

Managing all of your team’s or organization’s bills of sale can be a total nightmare. Why? Because they start to add up fast. Whether they’re paper or digital, the sheer volume can be enough to drive anyone crazy.

But if you’re looking for a clean and automated way to stay on top of all your company’s bills of sale, has the solution.

You can set up your own custom columns to keep track of the data that matters to you — whether it’s payment dates, customer names, invoice number, amount due, amount paid, project tags, who issues the expense, and everything in between.

screenshot of simple bill of sale main table example

Best of all, our simple bill of sale template will let you leverage all the other amazing benefits you’ve come to know and love from, including:

  • More than 30 customizable column types
  • 8 different data visualizations
  • Over 37 integrations with other apps
  • Unlimited automations for a streamlined workflow

Even if you’ve never used a simple bill of sale before, we’ve got you covered with a few tips and tricks.

Get the template

Simple bill of sale tips and tricks

Every bill of sale is unique to a particular transaction, so no two bills of sale will be 100% alike. But there are a few tips and tricks you should always bear in mind when creating a simple bill of sale — no matter what you’re selling.

Check your local rules

This is a big one. Each state can make up its own requirements regarding what a simple bill of sale must include and how it should be issued.

For example, you might live in a state where both the buyer and seller need to sign the bill of sale to make it legally binding. If you fail to get the buyer’s signature and they make a claim against you later, you may lose your case because the bill of sale wasn’t properly issued. When in doubt, always check the rules of your state before creating a bill of sale.

Make sure you understand the jargon

Even if you’re using a template, you may run into unfamiliar legal jargon. Always read through the template you’re using and double-check you’re 100% confident about each word’s meaning.

Get the template

FAQs about simple bills of sale

Can a bill of sale be handwritten?

Yes: while it’s common to create a bill of sale in digital format, it’s generally okay to handwrite a bill of sale. Just make sure you include every relevant detail involved in the transaction so that both parties are protected.

How do you write a bill of sale?

When writing a bill of sale, with or without a template, it’s important to include the following:

  • Date
  • Item description
  • Sales Price
  • Warranty, if relevant
  • Parties involved
  • Payment method

From there, you should also consider any other agreements that might be relevant to the sale — like late payments, interest rates, or due dates for pending items.

Does a bill of sale need to be notarized?

Generally speaking: no. Most states don’t require a notary to witness the signing of a bill of sale. But there are exceptions to the rule. A notary public needs to witness both parties signing a bill of sale in Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Montana.

Is there a bill of sale template in Word?

Yes, Microsoft Office has several bill of sale templates available to use on Word. You can also find a lot of external sites that offer free bill of sale templates you can download and then import into Word.

Get the template

Get started