Many newcomers to the world of international business are given confusing advice on the proper documents to use in their business. The Letter of intent / LOI is a document that many refer to, but actually is poorly understood. Without proper understanding of the document you might find yourself making mistakes in your business that will cause you great embarrassment.
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.