How to Write a Letter of Intent (LOI) [with Samples]

Last Updated Sep 14, 2020 @ 9:25 am

This post was inspired by one of our readers who asked for help in writing a letter of intent for a Mayor’s permit.

But instead of answering her question directly, we thought it would be better if we write a comprehensive guide on how to write a letter of intent along with some of the best examples for quick and easy reference.

So if you’re ready, let’s jump straight to the nitty-gritty of how to make an effective letter of intent.

What is a Letter of Intent (LOI)?

It’s a document stating one party’s intention to do something (e.g apply for work, initiate a request, conduct business) in connection to another person or company, etc.,

Any agreement, whether personal or business, is usually initiated by expressing interest and a letter of intent is the formal way of doing so.

It shows your knowledge about the transaction and how to execute it while being respectful in showing your interest. More importantly, it allows you to get a response or request for a formal meeting/audience or authorization that will initiate the preliminary agreement.


When is it Used?

A letter of intent is used in a variety of settings. It’s used when applying for a job, request to be admitted to a school or university, apply for a scholarship, request for business documents or permits, apply for a promotion, request for financing, express desire to purchase a business or real estate, and so much more.

In a traditional business setting, it lays down the basis and key points of a proposed deal before an actual legal agreement is signed.

For individuals, an LOI is often used to express interest or request approval for employment, documentation, permit, clearance, and/or other related matters.


Types of Letter of Intent

There are several ways to use a letter of intent. Here are some of the most popular types of LOI and its uses. 

Jobs and Careers

A letter of intent in an employment setting is a document that expresses your interest in working for a company. 

It explains the reasons why you want to work there and why they should hire you (by writing down your skills, competencies, and experience).

An LOI essentially works as a cover letter in this setting, where your main goal is to express desire to work there and request for an interview.

University or College Entrance

An academic LOI’s goal is to explain the reasons why the school should consider accepting you as a student (or scholar).

It shares the person’s abilities and credentials and links it to the school’s own vision and mission for its students.

Business Deal

An LOI in a business setting serves as a non-binding agreement laying down the terms and conditions of a proposal or a deal. 

It can be used to assure or guarantee the other party of the exclusivity of the contract. It can be used to provide the guidelines, terms and conditions, and other relevant information that needs to be confirmed before the formal dealings, negotiation, or transaction begins. 

It also acts as a safeguard for both parties should the agreement fail to materialize.

Real Estate Purchase

An LOI is used by the buyer to express how serious he or she is in buying a certain piece of residential or commercial property.

While a Real Estate LOI isn’t legally binding, it usually includes key details like purchase price, payment scheme, and other related details.

This is useful to both parties since they can get a “feel” of the transaction prior to making it official. It also allows room for negotiation.

Financing Request

A financial letter of intent is used to acquire funding from investors. The document states the need for such a budget as well as the reasons justifying the request.

It should clearly explain how the funding will be utilized to meet the proposed goals.


How to Write a Letter of Intent

So far you’ve learned what a Letter of Intent is for and how it’s used in certain settings (and how to format them for each scenario).

In this section, we’ll take a more general approach to show you how each section of an LOI should be written along with a couple of tips to make writing it more effective and easier.

Before anything else, remember that your goal here is to be clear yet concise.

Ultimately, your mission is to write an engaging letter that emphasizes how you or your proposed project/venture can bring value to the other party.

While it’s tempting to pepper the letter with jargon and flowery expression to impress your recipient, an LOI is still considered a formal document, which means accuracy and clarity works best and shows professionalism.

Before you Start: Go for Business Letter Format

Stick to a formal business format and tone when writing your Letter of Intent. In most cases, a professional-looking letter is expected when it comes to this type of request.

From the salutation to the call-to-action, it’s important to address your reader with respect and proper decorum. Formatting should follow the standard business letter.

Step 1: Write the proper salutation

When you can, use the actual names of the recipient of the letter. Research is your friend here, beginning with the company’s website or by looking them up on LinkedIn.

Should that be impossible, you can always opt for the more generic, “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”

Step 2: Start with the solid opening paragraph that summarizes your intent.

It allows the reader to quickly understand what the letter is for. A quick summary explaining why you’re writing gives the recipient sufficient context to support the rest of the letter.

Depending on the nature of your request, the opening statement should address the following: 

  • What you’re requesting for
  • How much funding or budget you need
  • What you are proposing

Step 3: Highlight the Main Body

This part should highlight your skills and experience and share it in a way that relates to the nature of your request. 

For example, if it’s a letter of intent for employment, share your relevant skills and experience and explain how it will bring value to the company.

If it’s a business proposal, share facts and figures of your previous successes and link it as to why and how your proposal can benefit the other party.

This is perhaps the most important section of the entire letter as it serves as your stage for “selling” what you have to offer. 

Step 4: Call to Action

The next step is to provide a clear call-to-action for what your recipient should do next. 

Normally, you provide your contact info (email, phone number, and other related details) so they can easily contact you. You then state their options for responding to your letter. 

Step 5: Closing

Thank them for their time in reading the letter and use a formal closing like “Sincerely”, “Thank you”, or “Best Regards”.


Free Letter of Intent Samples and Templates

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Letter of Intent templates and samples so you can easily write one and then simply tailor it per your own needs.

1. 47+ Downloadable Sample Letter of Intent

Includes:

  • Basic letter of intent
  • Letter of Intent Acquisition of Business
  • Restaurant Letter of Intent
  • Letter of Intent to Purchase Business Asset
  • Letter of Intent for College Admission
  • College Letter of Intent for Scholarship
  • Employment Letter of Intent

2. Letter of Intent for Business Purchase and Accepting a Scholarship

Includes:

  • LOI for purchasing a business
  • LOI for accepting a scholarship 

3. 10 Free Samples of Letters of Intent

Includes:

  • Basic letter of intent
  • Letter of Intent Acquisition of Business
  • Restaurant Letter of Intent
  • Letter of Intent to Purchase Business Asset
  • Letter of Intent for College Admission
  • College Letter of Intent for Scholarship
  • Employment Letter of Intent

4. 13+ Sample Free Letter of Intent Templates – PDF, Word

Includes:

  • Letter of Intent for College Admission
  • Letter of Intent for Real Estate
  • Letter of Intent Acquisition of Business

5. Letter of Intent Samples

Includes:

  • Letter of intent sample pdf
  • Sample letter of intent to purchase a business
  • Sample of letter of intent for business proposal
  • Letter of intent for promotion

About Amiel Pineda

Amiel is the lead business & finance columnist of Grit PH. He escaped from the shackles of BPO life and now pursues his dream of writing full time. He shares his best tips and insights for aspiring homebased workers and freelancers on his site: Homebased Pinoy

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