Who keeps the bill of sale?

The buyer and seller have just signed the bill of sale. Now what?

A bill of sale certifies a big transaction — usually of a large purchase like a vehicle or livestock. It frees the seller from liability and proves the buyer’s ownership. The seller is responsible for drawing up the document, but who should keep the bill of sale once the terms are settled, the documents signed, and the transaction finalized?

The short answer is that both the buyer and seller should retain the bill of sale for their records. This document protects everyone involved should any disagreements arise in the future. Typically, the buyer should keep the original and the seller should keep a copy. Learn why it’s important for both parties.

Why the buyer should keep the original bill of sale.

The buyer needs the original bill of sale in most states in order to obtain a title and register their vehicle or livestock purchase. The bill of sale is also a key reminder of the terms and conditions of the purchase should any difficulties come up with the item that were not outlined in the original agreement.

Why the seller should keep a copy of the bill of sale.

The seller should keep a copy of the bill of sale in order to shield him or herself from liability, should the buyer decide to take legal recourse for any dissatisfaction with the item purchased. The bill of sale relieves the seller from legal liability and is useful for clearing up any murky legal arguments.

Create your bill of sale.

The seller is responsible for drafting the bill of sale. Even if it’s not required by your state, as a seller you’ll want to put one together. Luckily, it’s easy and simple to create a legal binding online document. Explore how you can create a bil of sale form and add fields for legally binding signatures with Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign.