You may need to know how to write a letter of intent if you intend to do business with someone, are applying for a position with a company, are applying for school admissions or for other purposes. As the name implies, a letter of intent expresses your intentions; it is also sometimes referred to as a letter of interest.

This type of correspondence should be concise and clear, the main objective being to express your intentions to the recipient in a professional manner.

How to write a letter of intent

1. Include the date in the upper left-hand corner.

Date your letter of intent at the left-hand margin, about 4 to 6 spaces below the letterhead.

2. Recipient’s name and address.

Space down three spaces before addressing the recipient. At the left-hand margin, include the recipient’s name, title and address.

3. Include a subject line.

Following the address, skip two lines and state the subject of your letter. For example, you might use ‘Re: Letter of Intent’.

4. Type the salutation.

Two spaces below your subject line, type your salutation. This should be types as Dear ‘Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss’ followed by the recipient’s last name. Try your best to find out the name of the recipient if you aren’t certain; if all else fails, use Dear Sir or Madam.

5. Begin your letter with a summary sentence.

In any business letter, the first sentence should briefly summarize the purpose and subject of your letter. Tell the recipient why you are writing, and include the names of any other parties affected.

6. Write the main body of your letter of intent.

The body of your letter should include any specific goals of a project or agreement; it should get straight to the point. Briefly mention any problems, guidelines or other details that may be discussed in future contracts or paperwork. Never be vague in your letter; if the purpose of your letter is to outline a project to be completed, include an estimate of when it may be completed. Write in a professional, polite tone.

7. Clarify that your letter is not legally binding.

8. Close your letter.

Using the words ‘Sincerely’, ‘Yours Truly’ or ‘Best Regards’ is proper in a letter of intent. Skip down about 4 spaces before typing out your first and last name, followed by your title if applicable. Sign your name by hand in the space above the typed version.

9. Proofread your work.

It is always essential to look over your work thoroughly in order to find spelling or grammar errors. You want your letter of intent to look crisp, clear and professional, without mistakes.
Always be specific in your letter of intent; avoid being vague or unclear, and do not stray away from the subject.
Now that you know how to write a letter of intent, the task will be easier and seem far less intimidating.