Trigger point for taking next steps: In addition to setting the key elements of the deal, the LOI is also a trigger point for critical milestones during process. Those trigger points are: For the seller to remove the practice from the market and focus on the single buyer. For the buyer and seller to begin conducting their due diligence. With agreement in principle on the main terms the seller will have more comfort in opening the books and sharing client information and the buyer will have more comfort in providing financial information.
Moral of the story? If you're ever contemplating using a Letter of Intent in a business transaction, you had better watched out, it may not be as simple a matter as you might think. You better be very cautious, for it could result in unforeseen and unpredictable consequences!