A contract acceptance letter is a formal letter that confirms that you have accepted the terms and conditions of a business contract.
Typically (but not always!), either formal acceptance or a counteroffer against an offer or proposal must be made within a set amount of time and should include statements signaling your acceptance of the terms.
In most circumstances, acceptance letters signify the agreement to a binding contract.
This can carry some legal weight and consequences if you aren’t exactly sure what you’re signing.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics behind contract acceptance letters, including how to write one and what to watch out for prior to signing an agreement.
Let’s get started!
Legal disclaimer: While this document is accurate to the best of our knowledge, it’s not intended as legal advice.
In most cases, issuing a letter of acceptance reflects your consent to the terms and conditions of a contract agreement. Writing this type of business letter can have legal consequences.
If you aren’t sure whether you should move forward with a letter of acceptance or what language you should use to do so, we recommend consulting with legal counsel in your area to determine the best path forward.
Contract acceptance letters: the basics
Formal acceptance letters can be used in everything from employment offers to the acceptance of a business proposal.
These documents are unique because they fulfill a specific role in negotiating the offer and acceptance of a contract.
However, unlike many other business documents, letters of acceptance are generally straightforward and noncomplex.
Why are contact acceptance letters important?
Contract acceptance letters are important because they formalize the agreement between two parties.
These documents state that you have read and agreed to the terms of the contract. It also serves as a record of the agreement, which can be used in the event of a dispute.
In many ways, issuing an acceptance letter carries the same legal ramifications as signing contracts, though the preparation and dispatch of a letter tend to be a more formal process.
Though you may not see them used very often in business documentation outside of an employment contract or the formal acceptance of a new position, they are recognized as a form of consent to the contract terms.
When should you write an acceptance letter?
Letters of acceptance are usually written in response to an offer issued by the other party in the contract.
This might be a business extending a job offer to a candidate, a company accepting a business proposal from another organization, or a corporation offering a franchising opportunity to a new franchisee.
In these situations, the issuance of an acceptance letter would be acceptable but is contingent upon one party choosing to offer a role, position, or contract to the other party.
If that event occurs, an acceptance letter is a formalized way to accept the offer, and it makes sense to create one.
How to write a contract acceptance letter
In this section, we’ll cover how to write a letter of acceptance.
You’ll learn about what you should include in your acceptance letter, things you should avoid, and some best practices to help you navigate the writing process.
We’ve also included some sample lines and phrases to help you create acceptance letters more quickly.
Things to include
Every acceptance letter requires a few key elements in order to provide clarity and context to an objective reader.
These details are essential because they connect the acceptance letter directly to the contract or offer that you’re writing about.
We’ve included a list of what your acceptance letter should include below.
Once your acceptance letter covers all of these basic elements, you’re ready to send it.
Before doing so, consider the tone of the acceptance letter and whether it needs to convey any additional information.
Often, acceptance letters are written as thank you letters, thanking employers for a job offer or businesses for submitting a proposal.
While this isn’t strictly required, it’s considered a good form to show gratitude in a letter of acceptance.
1. Date of the letter
The date on the letter should reflect the send date and the formal date of acceptance for the contract in question.
2. Reference to the original offer or contract
Either in the body, the text, or the subject line at the top of the letter, you’ll want to refer to the offer or proposal that you intend to accept.
In an acceptance of a proposal letter or similar document, you might also have a proposal number that you can use as a reference when accepting the terms of the contract.
3. Acknowledgement and acceptance of the offer
Somewhere in the official letter of acceptance, you need to formally accept the offer.
This is essential to the letter of acceptance of tender since it formally acknowledges the sender’s intent to accept the contract award.
4. Persons or entities accepting the offer
In your acceptance letter, you’ll need to specify the parties accepting the offer.
In business letters, this might be covered by using company letterhead, but it’s often best to use the company name if you are accepting on behalf of an organization or collective entity.
5. Counteroffers and specification of terms
In some scenarios, you may need to clearly specify terms made as part of a counteroffer or counterproposal.
Be sure to include this in your letter of acceptance if you feel that there is any confusion regarding these conditions.
6. Further discussions and next steps
If you plan to initiate future conversations or are in charge of the acceptance process, you may want to clarify what should happen next upon acceptance.
This might include setting up dates for future discussions, specifying an operational start date, or providing additional information to interested parties.
7. Signature or signoff of the sender
Lastly, you’ll want to include a signoff or signature to conclude the formal document. Often, this includes your name, contact information, and job title (in business situations only).
Things to avoid
While you do need to include a few basic details, there are also some key elements that you’ll want to avoid when writing your letter of acceptance.
Remember: From a legal standpoint, issuing a letter of acceptance means that you are accepting the terms and conditions offered to you.
When it’s time to do that, be clear, concise, and direct so that everyone is on the same page.
With that in mind, here is a list of things to avoid while writing your contract acceptance letter.
1. Being vague
Above all else, your letter of acceptance should clearly state that you are accepting the provided offer.
This is the entire purpose of a letter of acceptance, and it should be evident to the reader from very early in the letter that acceptance is your intended goal.
2. Replying to the wrong recipient
Sometimes, a letter of offer is generated from a location that isn’t connected to your intended recipient.
For example, an email with your offer letter might be sent from an email address that only sends contract documents.
Before replying (either by letter or by email) be sure that you’re addressing your formal acceptance to the appropriate individual.
Failing to do so could mean that your acceptance letter is never received or processed.
3. Accepting while still negotiating terms
The issuance of a letter of acceptance indicates that you are accepting the terms of a given contract or offer.
While you can accept with contingencies, it’s often better to wait until all negotiations are complete before officially accepting or finalizing the offer.
4. Failing to reference the original documentation
Somewhere in your acceptance letter, you’ll need to reference the initial documentation that was provided to you.
The letter of acceptance should clearly indicate what offers you are accepting and when you intend to accept it.
Especially in B2B relationships, when multiple vendor contracts may be open at a time, directly referencing specific proposals is essential to keep all parties aligned.
Templates and samples
Below, you’ll find a list of sample sentences and phrases that you can use when writing a letter of acceptance.
Thank you for offering me the opportunity to assume the role of [JOB TITLE] at [ORGANIZATION]. After reviewing the offer, I am happy to accept this position.
I have greatly enjoyed my time at [COMPANY], and am happy to accept the promotion to [JOB TITLE] effective [DATE.]
We are delighted to inform you that your submitted job proposal, [PROPOSAL NAME], has been accepted by our company. I would like to set up a call to discuss the next steps and sign all related documents.
Thank you for inviting me to the [EVENT] at [TIME] on [DATE]. I formally accept this invitation and will be delighted to attend.
Template: Job offer acceptance letter
Dear Mr. / Mrs. [LAST NAME],
Thank you so much for considering my candidacy for [JOB TITLE] at [ORGANIZATION]. I am excited by your offer and am very happy to accept.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience regarding the next steps and training dates. Thank you again for the offer and for choosing to work with me.
Template: Acceptance of proposal letter
Good [MORNING/AFTERNOON]! I’m reaching out regarding [PROPOSAL], the proposal that your company submitted in response to our RFP, [RFP NAME].
I’m excited to let you know that my team has reviewed all proposals and would like to proceed with your offer.
Currently, we anticipate a start date of [DATE] with an end date of [DATE], based on the work schedule attached to your bid. Can you confirm that this information is correct?
If you are still available for the requested work, please contact me as soon as possible to finalize the remaining details.
We are excited to work with you!
Template: Event acceptance letter
Dear Mr. / Mrs. [LAST NAME],
I am excited to confirm my attendance of [EVENT] at [LOCATION] on [DATE].
In your invitation, you requested information regarding any additional guests. I plan to attend with [FULL NAME] during this event.
Please keep me informed of any changes regarding scheduling, wardrobe, or attendance.
Thank you for the kind invitation.
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Acceptance letters, especially when responding to proposals or job offers, can be largely unnecessary with the correct tools.
Letters of acceptance can carry some legal weight, but an electronic signature on the document or contract is a more ironclad way to ensure consent.
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Frequently asked questions
In some circumstances, a letter of acceptance could be considered a legally binding document.
For example, if you accepted a speaking engagement using a letter of acceptance and money changed hands, that letter of acceptance could be used as proof of an accepted proposal if you failed to attend.
On the other hand, if you issued a letter of acceptance to attend a wedding as a guest or agreed to take an entry level job offer and never showed up, there are no legally binding consequences for failing to attend.
Congratulations! If you’ve received a letter of acceptance, you might consider replying to the sender that you have received it and follow up with any related questions.
In the event that the acceptance letter provides all relevant information regarding next steps (such as a college acceptance letter), simply follow the instructions in the letter to confirm receipt and your intent to move forward.
You might also consider responding to any other offers you have received to formally reject their of
Yes. Traditionally, you send a letter to signal your acceptance of a position or to RSVP for an event. Today, the majority of this paperwork is handled via email.
While emails aren’t as formal as a response printed on stationary and delivered to a mailbox, they serve much the same purpose.
You can respond to an acceptance email using many of the techniques included in this article. The end goal is the same.
In most cases, an electronic signature will be considered more important than a letter of acceptance due to its immediacy and relevance to the signed document.
In many cases, the acceptance of a proposal can still be contingent upon certain elements or processes. Electronic signatures typically signal an end to negotiations and provide confirmation that an amicable agreement has been reached.
Because electronic signatures are assigned to a specific document (and are often included on the document itself), there is far less room for debate regarding the intent of the signer in relation to the details or enforceability of the contract.
The goal when writing a letter of acceptance for a job or proposal is to notify the recipient that you accept the terms and conditions of the offered agreement.
On the other hand, a letter of rejection would do exactly the opposite. While thanking an employer for a job offer, you might disclose that you’ve taken a position somewhere else or that you’re no longer interested in the advertised role.
Both emails can still be considerate and gracious, and they will follow most of the same rules, in terms of what you might want to include — but they reach very different goals.