Livestock Bill of Sale

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Upd. 12, Jan, 2023
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A standard livestock bill of sale is an essential agreement proving the legality of the livestock purchase and sale between a buyer and a seller. This type of bill of sale ensures the safe transfer of numerous farm animals (cows, horses, sheep, pigs, cattle, etc.) along with the agreed amount to a new owner. Fill out this Lawrina template to outline the key agreement details and easily download it in PDF.
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Template Description

Download and use this livestock bill of sale template from Lawrina for your cattle purchase and sale deals. This template contains general necessary terms and conditions for both parties – buyers and sellers. You can edit this livestock bill of sale form with all essential details online and ensure that the prepared legal document fully provides for your situation.

What Is a Bill of Sale for Livestock?

A standard bill of sale for livestock is a legal contract for the sale and purchase of livestock between a buyer and a seller. This type of bill of sale for animals ensures the safe transfer of numerous farm animals (cows, horses, sheep, pigs, cattle, etc.) to a new owner in return for the agreed amount of money. 

Insight

A well-written and well-structured cattle bill of sale helps both clients and livestock owners understand their legal obligations so they are on the same page about the sale and purchase deal and what it involves. This legal document also helps third parties identify the seller and purchaser in case of miscommunication or procedural complications arising.

Buyers may need a complete livestock bill of sale sample to register their new ownership and arrange sales tax matters in their state.

Parties of the Livestock Bill of Sale

  • Seller –– The first party is the seller who has the current position of the livestock, and after the signing of the agreement will have transferred the ownership of the livestock to the buyer for an agreed fee. 
  • Buyer –– The second party in the livestock purchase and sale agreement is the buyer who, through signing the agreement, pays the seller a sum of money to gain possession of the livestock. 

Key Terms

Below are some important general terms you need to know if you are interested in signing a livestock bill of sale:

  1. Livestock –– Livestock refers to farm animals such as cattle, sheep, horses, goats, and pigs. A livestock bill of sale is necessary for the transfer of any such animals from one owner to another. 
  2. Breed –– This is a stock of animals within a particular species that has a definitive appearance. As a buyer, before you sign a livestock bill of sale you should determine what breed of animal you are purchasing. 
  3. Class –– Animal class is another way to classify the livestock you are selling or buying. Animals within a certain class share similar characteristics. 
  4. Registration papers –– A livestock registration certificate is legal proof that the animals to be sold are as advertised. The registration paper will typically tell you which association the animal is registered with, which can be verified if necessary. 
  5. Brands, marks, and description –– Brands and marks are provided in the description of livestock because they help to verify the identity of the owner. Distinct marks or symbols are placed on the livestock by the owner. 
  6. Vet clearance –– A vet may clear an animal for sale, meaning that the animal is fit to be sold. The opinion of a vet may be sought to determine the market readiness of the animal that is subject to a potential sale and purchase agreement. 
  7. Evidence of ownership –– There are various documents that can prove that the seller owns the livestock they are purporting to sell, including:

  • Bill of sale from having purchased the animal themselves (e.g. cattle livestock bill of sale form);
  • Brand inspection certificate; and
  • Recorded brand registered in the name of the owner or person in possession of the livestock.

When To Use a Bill of Sale for Livestock?

It is necessary for both buyers and sellers to use a bill of sale at any time where livestock is sold or purchased. This includes auctions and private sales. 

  1. Buyers should ensure that they have a livestock bill of sale that details the specific livestock that they intend to sell and the purchase price; and

  2. Sellers should confirm that the buyers are willing to sign a bill of sale so that there is written confirmation of the livestock they are agreeing to purchase.

Insight

Sellers and buyers must always make copies of a livestock bill of sale and have them at hand when submitting this legal document. Buyers should usually apply for title ownership at their state departments after the purchase, whether the livestock was purchased by private sale or at auction. 

What Should a Livestock Bill of Sale Include?

A general cattle bill of sale should include the following information:

  • Type of livestock –– sheep, cows, goats, chickens, cattle, etc.;
  • Detailed description –– age, color, weight, sex, class, current health condition, medical records, etc.;
  • Agreed fees –– livestock price and deposit;
  • Due dates –– the payment date and the agreement date;
  • Parties’ contact information –– full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses.

Before you start writing a simple cattle purchase contract, it is important that you have all of the information and exact figures available to put in the agreement.

How To Write a Livestock Bill of Sale

For Buyers

  1. Download this easy-to-use printable livestock bill of sale form sample in PDF format and use it to create your own bill of sale. 

  2. It is necessary to consider what type of livestock you are selling, as this an essential term of a livestock bill of sale. 

  3. Edit the form to specify the details of the livestock being sold, such as the breed, age, and sex of the animals.

  4. The form should also indicate other details, including any payments to be made, document checks to be confirmed pre-sale, and the date of purchase.

  5. Never edit the section which provides for signatures. This is the most important part of the bill as it confirms both parties have agreed to the bill. This section should be left as is. Make sure it is never left blank and is always signed by both parties to execute the agreement.

  6. Include your contact information as well as that of the seller. 

For Sellers

  1. Download this easy-to-use animal bill of sale template in PDF format and use it to create your own bill of sale. 

  2. It is necessary that you ensure that the buyer has detailed the type of livestock that is being sold to you so that they can be included in the form, as this is an essential term of a livestock bill of sale.

  3. Edit the form to specify the details of the livestock being bought, such as the breed, age, and sex of the animals. 

  4. The form should also indicate other details, including any payments you need to make or document checks to be confirmed pre-sale.

  5. Never edit the section which provides for signatures. This is the most important part of the bill as it confirms both parties have agreed to the bill. This section should be left as is. Make sure the section is never left blank and is always signed by both parties.

  6. Include your contact information as well as that of the buyer. 

The Dos and Don’ts of Selling Livestock

As a seller, there are some crucial points you need to know about selling livestock. These can be divided into the dos (things you should do) and don'ts (things you should avoid altogether).

Do
  1. Check the health of your animals and update their medical history if needed (e.g. check recent vaccination shots and record them if you have not done so yet).
  2. Research the average livestock prices in your state and develop your own competitive pricing.
  3. Advertise your livestock with clear, high-quality pictures on specialized marketplaces (LivestockMarket, EmpireLivestock, Facebook groups, etc.)
  4. Be honest with your buyers regarding the health and price of your animals.
  5. Update your livestock listing regularly unless you have sold out.
Don't
  1. Overpromise in your marketplace listings.
  2. Sell animals that are unhealthy, too old, or have not had a prior vet inspection. The “as is” type of bill of sale does not work for livestock purchase contracts.
  3. Offer too high or low price.
  4. Close your purchase and sale deal without a livestock bill of sale.
  5. Sell your cattle to persons with criminal intentions or if they lack the necessary level of experience or space to keep and care for the animals.

When each aspect of the legal process is agreed between the parties, and the terms of the agreement correspond with each party’s needs and any state laws, the sake of livestock typically does not result in disputes or confusion. 

When Do You Need a Livestock Bill of Sale?

Common Use Cases

A livestock bill of sale is a necessary document to have in many instances. Ideally, it should always be used for any sale or purchase of farm animals. You can edit a standard printable livestock bill of sale template to suit your specific needs if you find yourself in any of these common situations: 

  1. Farm to farm transfer –– This typically applies when farm animals, such as horses and donkeys, are bought by one farm from another. In such cases, a bill of sale is used to show the transfer of ownership. 

  2. Dairy farming –– Oftentimes, farms breed their dairy cattle (cattle, buffaloes, goats) and sell the animals to dairy production farms and companies to be used for milk production. In these cases, it is necessary to use a cattle bill of sale to show transfer of ownership. 

  3. Farm to private owners –– Farmers may sell their animals to private owners who may wish to keep them, or may wish to keep them on the farms so they have ownership but not possession. It is very important in such cases to use a bill of sale to make it clear who the new owner of the animal(s) is.  

When Not To Use a Livestock Bill of Sale

You may not need a bill of sale if you are not selling or buying the animals, but instead you are simply giving or receiving a gift. A bill of sale is necessary when animals are being purchased, but it is not always necessary when there is only a transfer of ownership of those animals.

State Law

Most states do not require the livestock bill of sale to be notarized. While there are some states that require your bill of sale to be notarized, in most states notarization is optional. Here is an easy reference table to check whether you need to get your bill of sale for animals notarized in your state.

State Law
Alabama
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Alaska
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Arizona
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Arkansas
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
California
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Colorado
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Connecticut
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Delaware
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Florida
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Georgia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Hawaii
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Idaho
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Illinois
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Indiana

Notarized Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.

State Law
Iowa
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Kansas
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Kentucky
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Louisiana
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Maine
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Maryland
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Massachusetts
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Michigan
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Minnesota
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Mississippi
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Missouri
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Montana
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Nebraska
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.
State Law
Nevada
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New Hampshire
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New Jersey
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New Mexico
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New York
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
North Carolina
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
North Dakota
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Ohio
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Oklahoma
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Oregon
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Pennsylvania
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Rhode Island
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
South Carolina
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
South Dakota
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Tennessee
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Texas
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.
State Law
Utah
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Vermont
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Virginia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Washington
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
West Virginia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Wisconsin
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Wyoming
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate the livestock purchase & sale.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the next steps after drafting my livestock bill of sale?

Commonly, sellers draft a printable livestock bill of sale template, fill it out, and introduce it to the buyer. Your prepared version is always safe in your inbox where you can download the template at any time.

As for external institutions, you do not need to submit the cattle purchase contract unless they require it from sellers. The livestock buyer is the one who needs this documented proof of sale to register the new cattle ownership.

How to fill out livestock bill of sale?

Begin with the most crucial details regarding the livestock – its description, medical history, prices, the due dates for payments, etc. Then, continue adding your contact details and the ones from the other parties. In the end, revise every clause and check every piece of information you have inserted in your document.

Is a handwritten bill of sale for livestock legal?

Once a cattle purchase contract is signed by both parties, it automatically becomes legally binding and enforceable. All legal state departments across the U.S. accept handwritten and electronic signatures.

You can submit this printable livestock bill of sale template wherever you need to register the new ownership of the livestock.