Best Way to Write a Letter of Intent

Letters of intent are meant to place a verbal agreement on paper. These letters may be used for employment offers, real estate sales, business contracts, building contracts, college applications, and sports contracts. Generally a letter of intent is not a legally binding contract. It just lays out the terms of the agreement so that both parties can see if they agree with the terms and are ready to sign a contract.

The best way to write a letter of intent is to be specific on each of the points of the agreement. Letters must follow a business format, not that of personal or informal correspondence. Points to include in the letter involve the dollar amount of the transaction, the dates to be covered, the parties involved, termination conditions, request for reply, and responsibilities of each party.

Begin with the formal business heading including the name and address of the person who is going to receive the letter as well as your address. Include the date and greeting. Be sure to add the words “letter of intent” as the subject of the letter.

In the first paragraph give a brief description of the transaction and the names of the parties. For the purposes of this article, we will review an offer of employment. In the first paragraph, state the name of the position, the name of the candidate, and the name of the employer. Advise that the letter is to make a job offer.

Next, provide details on the offer. Details will vary depending on the type of transaction. An offer of employment may provide the hire date and starting pay.

If the offer is only open for a certain period of time, state that next. For example, give the other party until a named date to respond. Advise that after that date, the offer will be rescinded.

Next, review the benefits offered by the employer for this position. Examples include retirement funds, vacation days, and available health care.

Advise that if hired, the employment is at will and that employment may be terminated at any time by either party.

Close by asking the other party to sign the agreement and return it. Advise that once the letter of intent is returned, the agreement is complete.

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