Offer to Purchase Or Letter of Intent. Both terms are used to describe an offer made to purchase a business. An over_simplification of the definition of both documents is: An Offer to Purchase is usually written in contract form and defines the price, terms and conditions of the sale, and is usually accompanied by an earnest money deposit. A Letter of Intent (LOI) is usually written in letter form and also defines the price and the terms and conditions but usually doesn't call for an earnest money deposit.
The Key to an Effective Letter of Intent. A letter of intent, or LOI, is a document that outlines an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized. A Letter of Intent resembles a written contract, but generally are not binding upon the parties. The purpose of an Letter of Intent may be to clarify the key points of a complex transaction for the convenience of the parties, to declare officially that the parties are currently negotiating, as in a merger or joint venture proposal, or to provide safeguards in case a deal collapses during negotiation