So let's sum things up:* The LOI and similar documentary terms, are non standard, confusing, and lead to ambiguity. * Documentary ambiguity is referred to in trade law as a condition "The Battle of the Forms" in which confusion from contradictory and ambiguous forms and documents damages the transaction. This should be avoided. * To seasoned corporate traders and bankers, using terms like "Letter of Intent" is the mark of amateurs. * What you properly want is an RFQ, request for quotation, from a seller or supplier. The seller may then reply to your RFQ with a quote OR full offer if they wish.
Letters of intent are important in business relationships for they have many uses. For example, they are a form of proof to investors who want to know about the deals that the company has signed. They can get information on current business relationships.