What is a LOI? Full Guide to Letters of Intent

Letter of Intent(LOI): Overview

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a formal document that outlines the key terms and conditions of a proposed business transaction, typically between a buyer and a seller. It serves as a preliminary agreement and signals the parties’ intention to move forward with negotiations toward a final purchase agreement.

Business brokers and M&A advisors play instrumental roles in utilizing LOIs to facilitate the sale of a business. Here’s how they use LOIs and why they are important:

Facilitating Negotiations

  • Business brokers and M&A advisors leverage LOIs as a tool to formalize the initial offer and negotiate key terms between the buyer and the seller.
  • LOIs provide a structured framework for discussions, enabling both parties to clearly articulate their preferences and expectations regarding the transaction.

Confirming Buyer Interest

  • LOIs serve as concrete evidence of the buyer’s genuine interest in acquiring the business. By formalizing their offer in writing, buyers demonstrate their commitment and seriousness about proceeding with the transaction.
  • For sellers, receiving multiple LOIs can validate the attractiveness of their business and provide leverage for negotiating favorable terms.

Setting the Stage for Due Diligence:

  • LOIs typically outline the proposed due diligence process, including the scope, timing, and access to information required by the buyer to conduct a thorough review of the business.
  • By establishing a roadmap for due diligence, LOIs help streamline the process and ensure that both parties are aligned on the necessary steps to move the transaction forward.

Defining Key Terms and Conditions:

  • The LOI specifies essential terms and conditions of the transaction, such as the purchase price, deal structure, financing arrangements, closing timeline, and any contingencies or conditions precedent.
  • Clear delineation of these key terms helps mitigate misunderstandings and reduces the likelihood of disputes during the later stages of negotiation and drafting the final purchase agreement.

Creating a Binding or Non-Binding Agreement:

  • Depending on the language used and the parties’ intentions, LOIs can be either binding or non-binding agreements.
  • A binding LOI legally obligates the parties to negotiate in good faith and proceed with the transaction, subject to certain conditions and contingencies outlined in the agreement.
  • In contrast, a non-binding LOI signifies the parties’ intent to negotiate towards a final agreement but does not impose legal obligations to complete the transaction.


In summary, LOIs are critical documents in the sale of a business, providing a formal framework for negotiations, confirming buyer interest, setting expectations for due diligence, defining key terms, and establishing the groundwork for a successful transaction. Business brokers and M&A advisors leverage LOIs to guide clients through the negotiation process and facilitate the sale of businesses with clarity, transparency, and efficiency.

Fill Out the Form Below To Get Started

Looking to?*
Full Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.