Understanding the Usual Terms for a Letter of Intent in British Columbia Business Purchase



A letter of intent (LOI) is a valuable tool for parties seeking to assess their initial agreement on significant business terms before diving into formal purchase and sale negotiations. Acting as “term sheets,” a LOI streamlines the creation of final binding agreements.

Common LOI Terms

Parties: Clearly identify the involved parties accurately, providing their full legal names and addresses, ensuring the document’s legality and a strong foundation for negotiations. Additionally, the LOI should identify any rights that are assignable to a third party.

Purchase Price: Outline the purchase price, either as a fixed figure or within a negotiable range, along with payment method and timing details. Additionally, the sellers may often require purchasers to make a deposit towards the purchase price.

Assets and Liabilities: Clearly specify the assets and liabilities to be included in the purchase to avoid any misunderstandings during negotiations.

Due Diligence: Grant the buyer the right to conduct due diligence on the business to ensure transparency and assess viability.

Exclusivity: Consider an exclusivity clause to commit both parties to negotiate exclusively during the specified period.

Important Dates: To ensure a smooth and efficient transaction, it is advisable to establish a well-defined timeline that outlines key dates for signing the purchase agreement, target closing date, and other critical milestones.


Non-Solicitation: The seller will aim to incorporate a binding clause in the letter of intent, preventing the buyer from soliciting or recruiting the seller’s employees if the transaction does not proceed. On the other hand, the buyer will seek to restrict the non-solicitation provision to enable hiring the seller’s employees through general job postings.

Confidentiality: Include a confidentiality clause to safeguard proprietary information exchanged during negotiations. Additionally, the confidentiality prevents employees from becoming preoccupied with the ramifications of the sale and maintains their loyalty.

Binding or Non-Binding Nature: Explicitly state whether any part of the LOI is binding on the parties.

Termination: Address conditions for termination, such as mutual agreement or failure to reach a definitive agreement.


The LOI sets the stage for negotiations when purchasing a business in British Columbia. By outlining key terms and conditions, buyers and sellers establish a framework for discussions and ensure a smooth and transparent transaction process.