Letter of Intent: Everything You Need To Know

Letter of Intent

If you’re considering writing a letter of intent, you might be searching for a sample or a template. But before you begin putting your letter of intent together, you must have a clear understanding of what it truly is because, once you do, writing one will be a lot simpler and easier.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about a letter of intent, including its purpose, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as its legal implications and some best practices. 

What is a Letter of Intent?

Over the course of your career, a letter of intent is one of the business letters you might have to write, among others.

For a most common example, a letter of intent is something you send to an employer or manager in consideration for a job that is not posted. 

Generally, it is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of one party to do business, form a partnership, or negotiate with another.


A letter of intent can be used in a varied context. 

In the field of education, for example, it may be required prior to beginning work on a sizable academic research project. The letter of intent would need to be approved by an instructor or program chair before the research project could commence.

In a business setting, on the other hand, it may be required as part of an application for employment or before beginning a significant business project. It can also be sent when a company wants to establish business ties with another organization. A letter of intent must be approved before starting a new job, project, or collaboration.


A well-written letter of intent can be used to make sure that some parts of the agreement are enforceable while others are not. 

It has a number of benefits, some of which are as follows:

In Employment


  • It enables you to recognize professionals who are driven by their work.
  • It allows you to identify employees who meet business standards.
  • It enables you to expand the pool of potential candidates.


  • It enables you to initiate a connection.
  • It allows you to stand out during the hiring process.
  • It helps you become more visible to the companies you want to work with.

In Business

  • It gives a clear timetable for wrapping up the negotiations and the broader transaction.
  • It specifies the terms and framework of the business agreement.
  • It outlines the main points that must be resolved.
  • In the early phases of the negotiation, it can also be used as a tool to stop the parties from communicating with other parties.


While a letter of intent is not a legally binding document, a poorly written letter of intent could be interpreted as being legally binding on the parties. If the contract isn’t completed, parties may be exposed to unforeseen liabilities and losses.

Listed below are some of the disadvantages of letters of intent:

  • You may limit your opportunity to negotiate a better deal or offer later on if you commit to a letter of intent so early in the process.
  • In certain situations, they may become legally binding even though the organizations didn’t intend for this to happen.
  • If it takes a long time to reach an agreement on a letter of intent, the deal may actually need to be negotiated again, with the heads of terms serving only as an initial compromise agreement.

In conclusion, heads of terms can be quite helpful for preparing the schedule and course of complicated business negotiations. It goes without saying that you should be mindful of their downsides and avoid using them for simple transactions.

Other Names for a Letter of Intent

There are several names for a letter of intent, including:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Terms Sheet
  • Intent to Purchase Letter
  • Memo of Understanding (MOU)
  • Framework Letter
  • Assurance Letter

How Serious is a Letter of Intent? (Is it Legally Binding?)

The basic components of a potential partnership are laid out in the letter of intent. 

How well do you know its purpose? Are you aware of its possible legal effects?

In a business-to-business transaction, a letter of intent primarily includes a provision indicating the letter’s non-binding nature. However, even if such a clause is not included, a court may conclude that the letter is merely an expression of intent.

[QUICK FACT: A letter of intent is often non-binding unless it is explicitly stated that the parties are legally obligated by the provisions.]

Looking closer, how does the court interpret a letter of intent?

When deciding whether or not a letter of intent is binding, a court considers two factors:

  1. the written expressions of intent present in the letter and;
  2. demonstrative actions taken by both parties after the letter of intent is signed.

If the letter is expressed as a contract, it may be deemed legally binding. On the other hand, understanding the relationship between the two parties is also important. If two parties prepare and sign an ambiguous letter of intent but have previously engaged in non-binding agreements, it’s possible that the court will rule that the most recent letter is similarly non-binding.

If your goal is to create a binding letter of intent, you need to consider the following:

  1. What is the main purpose of the letter of intent?
  2. What terms and conditions apply to the works referred to in the letter of intent?
  3. What are the requirements for the quality and timing of the work?
  4. Is there any insurance that needs to be maintained, such as PI insurance?
  5. Are copyright licenses required?
  6. How much must be paid, when are the installments due, and how should payment be made (by check, cash, etc.)?
  7. How is a dispute going to be resolved (through adjudication, arbitration, etc.)?
  8. How are the parties going to end the arrangement?
  9. What happens if a formal contract is entered into?

The binding conditions of a letter of intent are serious and may have legal consequences if breached. These legal consequences may bind the parties to the agreement indefinitely due to the document’s constitutional effect in court. Assume that one party violates the contract or any legally binding clauses in a letter of intent. They might be subject to penalties in the form of additional charges through a different settlement or damages that are owed to the opposing party. 

Types of Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent for Employment

Throughout your search for a job, you may have noticed that some job postings request a letter of intent along with your application. A letter of intent—typically submitted together with a resume—is a brief document that specifies your willingness to work for a certain organization. It should include a summary of your pertinent experience and a justification of your suitability for the company. 

Letters of intent for employment can be submitted independently or in response to a job posting requirement. Keep in mind that they are highly customized for the organization to which they are addressed. 

Below are some of the specific examples of LOI. 

A letter of intent for an internship is one that a candidate for the position sends to the organization outlining how their acceptance into the internship will benefit both parties.

Students who are interested in learning more about their field of study often find internship programs to be the most valuable. They are always expected to send a letter of intent for an internship when responding to such openings. The main purpose of the letter is to demonstrate a prospective intern’s interest in the position and how they believe they can help the company.

A leadership position calls for some experience as well as the capacity to lead, motivate, and inspire others. Since there is no such thing as a leadership degree, these skills cannot be taught directly in school.

Your professional experience will be covered in your resume, and you will be able to describe some of your qualifications, but a cover letter allows you to focus on the key points and helps you get your foot in the door even if you don’t have previous leadership experience.

When pursuing a promotion, many employers expect employees to submit a letter of intent. It is a formal document that resembles a cover letter but conveys your intention to fill an internal job posting that is open at the time you write. A clear and precise list of your employment qualifications and a detailed account of your professional aspirations and achievements should be included in your letter of intent.

The letter of intent for a teaching post is formatted similarly to a cover letter for jobs in non-academic fields. 

This letter, which will be attached to a CV, will give some insight into the teacher’s personality and enthusiasm for teaching. This is an opportunity to emphasize significant achievements, experiences, and one’s qualifications for the open teaching position. In order to explain why they want to work at this particular school and how they would fit in, it helps if the teacher does some research.

Letter of Intent for Education

A letter of intent, sometimes referred to as a “statement of purpose,” is a brief, focused essay that you submit with your application for admission to a college or university. The letter of intent indicates your intent to enroll by stating the Admissions details of your educational and career background. The admissions office evaluates the letter of intent and the other papers provided to determine whether a student is a deserving applicant for their school’s graduate program.

A letter of intent for university or college admission is a document that describes your identity, your interests in relation to the program, and how you intend to add value to the program or the school. Take note that its content may be similar to various college essay topics.

This type of LOI may be required at certain educational levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. If you are applying to a higher level of admissions, you may be required to write a letter outlining your research experience and how you intend to conduct important research for the school. Undergraduate letters should highlight your strongest academic and personal attributes and describe who you are, as well as your educational and professional aspirations.

In essence, a graduate school letter of intent is an intellectual autobiography that outlines the chronology of events and encounters in a student’s academic life that inspired them to pursue higher study. This statement of interest for the master’s program focuses on the student’s academic life, addressing questions such as “why,” “where, and “with whom,” and answering the same questions from a future perspective.

The purpose of a letter of intent for nursing school is to highlight your motivations for applying, the aspects of your background that will help you be successful in nursing school, and your long-term goals. Candidates for nursing programs can increase their chances of admission to a program that will support their academic and professional objectives by writing strong letters of intent.

Even if you aced the questions during your interview for medical school, you can still find yourself on a waitlist. A letter of intent for medical school expressly states that you will accept an offer of admission to a specific school, if one is made, over and above any other institutions to which you have applied or been interviewed. This is a single letter that is being sent to just one school—your top pick. This type of letter gives you the chance to show the institution that you are a committed and optimistic applicant if you have interviewed at what is unquestionably your top choice of schools.

Letter of Intent for Business Transactions

When doing business partnerships, parties to a negotiation may decide to present a written starting point detailing a first offer and some general terms before settling on the agreement’s final details. In the corporate world, the term “letter of intent” refers to this first written document (sometimes also called a “memorandum of agreement” or “memorandum of understanding”). 

A letter of intent outlines the fundamental elements of a proposed deal, such as the price, asset description, restrictions, and closing conditions.

A business acquisition letter of intent is a document that enables a buyer and seller to reach an agreement regarding the purchase of an entity. As part of the buyer’s inspection during any contingency time, the contract should give the buyer an inspection period during which the buyer can verify its revenue and perform any other required due diligence.

If the letter is legally enforceable, the sale must close before the deadline in order to avoid the buyer losing their earnest money deposit.

A letter of intent for an asset acquisition agreement is a non-binding document stating the basic conditions and price at which a buyer offers to acquire the assets of a certain company. If the seller signs it, it means that both parties have agreed to proceed with the transaction. 

Despite having no binding effects when talking about the law, a letter of intent is one of the most important documents a seller of business shares will sign. It establishes the price and core terms of the deal and morally obligates the buyer to proceed with the transaction in good faith. 

A carefully drafted letter of intent guarantees the seller that the buyer will treat given business information confidentially and advance the sale’s legal completion.

A “letter of intent” can be applied to any pre-contractual document that expresses an intent to enter into a contract. It typically requests the contractor or subcontractor to start some aspects of the work or design before the full agreement and execution of the contract.

Letter of Intent for Real Estate

In a competitive market where you’re up against the clock and other buyers to secure the property you want, a letter of intent for real estate can give you the upper hand.

A real estate letter of intent is essentially a non-binding agreement between two parties prior to the completion of a real estate transaction. The letter shows a degree of commitment on the part of both parties and exclusivity on the seller’s part, demonstrating their intentions about executing the purchase deal.

The letter of intent is extremely helpful in speeding up the negotiation process as it doesn’t focus on the minor details of a purchase agreement, which can usually be ironed out later.

A letter of intent in commercial real estate is a draft contract that is negotiated between a buyer and seller. The letter of intent, or LOI, explains the primary economics and deal points with suggested conditions. 

In order for both parties to decide whether they want to move forward with a formal contract, they are meant to lay out the key points that each can consider.

Letter of Intent for Immigration

A specially written letter called an immigration letter is used to firmly support a visa application. Countries like Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and other Occidental countries require it because it clarifies the information provided and aids the visa officer in understanding the “intent of travel.”

Statement of Purpose (SOP), Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Statement, Letter of Explanation (LOE), etc. are all names for the immigration letter.

The letter of intent serves as a means of communication between you and the embassy officials in which you lay out your explanations for traveling and appeal for their acceptance. The letter should give more details about the reason for your visit as well as your plans to return to your homeland.

The intention of a couple to wed within ninety (90) days of their arrival in the United States is expressed in a letter of intent to marry. When a citizen wants to marry a foreigner, they need to submit a letter of intent as part of their K-1 Visa application. Notarization is not necessary.

What Should a Letter of Intent Include?

Instructions for a proposal, project, or application may include details on what should be included in a letter of intent. Depending on the purpose you are submitting it for, there can be different requirements for the letter of intent’s content and writing style. There is a need to review and follow specific instructions.

Generally speaking, letters of intent contain the following:

  • A statement outlining the rationale behind your proposal.

It can be a problem you’ve discovered, a research opportunity you want to investigate, a project you want to lead, a course you want to take, or a position you want to fill.

  • What you’re putting forth. 

Consider this to be a statement or overview of the project or your statement of purpose. What’s your overarching goal? Do you intend to complete a new project, respond to a research topic, advance your education, or take on a new role?

  • What you have done to prepare and how you will complete the task. 

If you are proposing a solution to a problem, what data do you already have, what will you still need to gather, and how will you finish the study if you are responding to a research question? What are the specifics of the project, who will be engaged, and what is required for a business proposal? What qualifications do you possess, and how can you contribute to the program or organization if you are seeking a career or educational opportunity?

Letter of Intent Sample For Applying To Nursing School

Sample 1

[Sender’s Name]

[Address line]

[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]

[Address line]

[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

I am writing to express my interest in enrolling in the nursing graduate program offered by Sava Nursing School. As an enthusiastic and hardworking individual, with a solid interest in nursing, I am sure that I will become an excellent student in no time.

My interest in nursing stemmed from the first time I volunteered my services to the local old people’s nursing home. This was 4 years ago, and since then, I have been volunteering for similar causes every chance I get.

The fact that your school is offering courses that are completely in sync with my goals made it easy for me to choose to apply here. Also, your reputation for developing nursing professionals who have made great names for themselves makes me want to be part of it.

Since your nursing school is famous for developing a strong sense of community giving, it aligns extremely well with my long-term goals.

During the course of my volunteer years, I developed a strong sense of this work. For example, I am knowledgeable about a variety of nursing environments such as emergency rooms, and home healthcare services.

I believe that I am a strong candidate, and I look forward to representing the Sava Nursing School.

[Sender’s Name]

[Sender’s Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] – Optional –

Sample 2

[Sender’s Name]

[Address line]

[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]

[Address line]

[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

I am writing to you to express my intent in applying to your prestigious school for nursing.

I believe that my skills, passion, and interest in the field of nursing will be an asset to your honorable school. Please find attached a list of my qualifications which you can peruse.

I look forward to being a part of your school this coming school year.


[Sender’s Name]

[Sender’s Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] – Optional –

Tips for Creating a Letter Of Intent

Here are a few general tips that you may want to keep in mind when preparing your letter of intent:

  1. Use the right format: Include both parties’ contact information and the date the letter was written in a business letter format.
  2. Provide a clear subject line: If you’re emailing your letter, make sure the subject line is unambiguous and includes the letter’s objective. You don’t need to include contact details for both parties at the beginning of the letter if you’re sending it this way. Your contact information can be added below your signature at the bottom.
  3. Proofread: Read the letter of intent very carefully to check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
  4. Use a formal salutation: Try to address the letter to a specific individual and use a formal salutation. You can use a generic salutation like “To whom it may concern” if the letter is being addressed to a number of recipients.
  5. Make short paragraphs: To improve the likelihood that the recipient will read the letter in its entirety, keep your letter concise and use short paragraphs. This is certainly relevant if you are submitting a letter of intent outlining your interest in working for a certain organization.
  6. Research the company: If you’re drafting a letter of intent to apply for a job at a business, do some advance research on the business to learn more about its goals and culture. This can help you get a sense of how you might be able to assist them.
  7. Use bullet points: When highlighting your qualifications for a job or important aspects of a business agreement, the use of bullet points simplifies everything.  Relevant information will be highlighted by bullets to help guarantee that it is not missed when the recipient reads the letter.

When Should I Send a Letter of Intent?

You may send or use a letter of intent when:

  • You want to tie up with other companies.
  • You want to purchase something of great value or cost.
  • You are handing out resumes to potential employers.
  • You’re researching companies to find one that best fits your interests and professional goals.
  • You’ve heard or have been told that a company has vacant positions, even if there are no jobs posted.

What Happens After a Letter of Intent? 

Waiting period and getting ready for the negotiation process comes next!

As previously stated, a letter of intent generally won’t be binding on major terms. However, companies may still view the agreement as a commitment, making it challenging to amend or renegotiate certain clauses later.

Some companies believe that signing a letter of intent entails reaching an agreement, but keep in mind that doing so does not commit you to any LOI terms that are not enforceable. After you sign the letter of intent, contract negotiation is not simply a formality; it is an opportunity for you to change any clause that doesn’t suit your needs.

The letter of intent is an important step in moving closer to your goal. After you have taken a critical look, considered potential pitfalls, and signed it, try to begin the formal contract review and negotiation process as soon as possible.

Wrap Up

Whether working independently or as part of a larger organization, letters of intent may be used in certain situations for varied purposes.

A letter of intent (LOI) is a formal document that states your desire to carry out a specific action. It expresses a preliminary intention by one party to conduct business with another party and is typically, but not always, nonbinding.

A letter of intent is very similar to a memorandum of understanding, known for other terms which are non binding documents that usually precedes binding agreements.

A letter of intent for an individual is similar to a personal pitch that expresses their desire to take advantage of an opportunity; it does not specify the details of a potential transaction or constitute due diligence.

Businesses, on the other hand, must conduct due diligence before entering into a transaction. That entails giving out the exact legal requirements in the letter’s contents in sufficient detail to satisfy them in a reasonable manner. These specifics may include being open and honest about the intention’s goal, the scope of the transaction, its potential cost, and the anticipated timing, but they could go beyond that.


Does a letter of intent have a legally binding effect?

A letter of intent is a document that outlines the intentions of two or more parties to conduct business together. The conditions of the letter of intent are often not legally binding on the parties unless otherwise stated.

How do you start a letter of intent for college?

State who you are, what your interests are within the context of the program, and how you intend to add value to the school and program. you may need to create a letter summarizing your research background and how you intend to produce valuable research for the school.

When should I send a letter of intent to a medical school?

The right time to submit your letter of intent is about a month after your interview. You want to be able to demonstrate to the admissions dean that you have given your application your full attention and that, despite having interviewed at other schools, you still think their institution is the best option.