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General Cease and Desist Letter Fill out the template

General Cease and Desist Letter

Last revision
Last revision 01-10-2020
Formats Word and PDF
Size 1 to 2 pages
Fill out the template

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Last revision: 01-10-2020

Size: 1 to 2 pages

Available formats: Word and PDF

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General Cease and Desist Letter

A Cease and Desist Letter is a letter sent to an individual or business that is engaging in unwelcome or illegal behaviour. The letter acts as a formal request that the recipient stop ("cease") and not continue ("desist") this behaviour. If the recipient of the letter fails to comply with these demands, the sender should be prepared to take further legal action to stop the behaviour that is harming or interfering with the sender's rights and abilities to conduct business.

For matters relating to Copyright Infringement or Trademark Infringement respectively, we have another template available - see our Copyright or Trademark Infringement Cease and Desist Letter.


How to use this document

A Cease and Desist letter includes the following basic elements:

  • Sender: an individual or business who is requesting that a behaviour stop.
  • Recipient: an individual or business who is being asked to stop a behaviour.
  • A detailed description of the offending behaviour and the negative effects the behaviour has had such as harassment, or spreading false information and defaming someone or other offensive activities.
  • A warning that legal action will result if the offending behaviour does not stop.
  • A deadline by which the offending behaviour must stop or else further legal action will be taken.

Once the letter has been completed, it should be sent by registered post or courier to the individual or business that has been conducting the offensive behaviour.


Applicable law

There are no laws outlining what must be included in a Cease and Desist letter. However, best practices and customary usage dictate that a Cease and Desist include a detailed description of the offending behaviour and a clear demand that the behaviour stop or else legal action will be taken.

If the matter ends up in court, a Cease and Desist letter can be used to show that the Defendant was put on notice about their offending behaviour, so the more detailed the letter, the better.


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