A request for information (RFI) is a formal document soliciting responses from potential suppliers (sellers) of a service or product. The RFI is usually intended to gather information about the suppliers capabilities or suggested solutions. Based on the responses to the RFI a request for quote (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP) may be issued as a follow-up. Sometimes the RFI is also used to qualify the suppliers who will be invited to respond to these later documents.
Some organizations use the terms RFI, RFQ, and RFP with slightly different intents, overlaps, and uses.