How Do You Write a Receipt of Sale?

A receipt or bill of sale is a document that confirms the sale and purchase of a significant item. It should confirm the value and ownership of the item, include information regarding any sales tax due and, in some cases, release the seller from legal liability regarding the item. Bills of sale are particularly important when transferring ownership of a car between two private parties.

  1. Include all contact information

    Include the seller's and buyer's full contact information in a receipt of sale, including complete addresses and phone numbers. Include the date of purchase.

  2. Describe the item being sold

    Provide a complete description of the item being sold. If selling a car, include the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, license plate number and odometer reading. If the item is being sold "as is," indicate that on the receipt. If there are any warranties involved, include specifics.

  3. List all pricing and tax information

    List the cost of the item, any discounts, the tax due and the total amount paid.

  4. Confirm payment

    Indicate that payment was received, and note the method of payment. If accepting a check, include the check number. Both the buyer and seller should sign the receipt of sale. When selling a motor vehicle, the buyer's signature is crucial to prove the date on which liability for the vehicle was transferred away from the seller. However, a receipt of sale alone is not enough to transfer title. Typically, the state DMV requires specific forms to accomplish this.