10 Polite Ways to Say “Not Interested” in Business

It’s not surprising that “not interested” can be a tricky phrase to use appropriately. It sounds a bit rude at first glance. So, you’re here to replace it!

Luckily, you have options! This article has gathered the best synonyms to help you replace “not interested” in a business setting.

Some of the best alternatives include:

  • I’m flattered, but
  • I appreciate the offer, but
  • Something else has come up
  • I’m afraid I’ve accepted another offer
  • I can no longer do this
  • This no longer works for me
  • I’ve been made a better offer
  • I am no longer interested
  • This position no longer applies to me
  • Unfortunately, I cannot accept

Don’t leave just yet! Stay with us to learn how to say “not interested” professionally. We’ve provided email samples for each synonym to show you how to say “no” in a polite way (and formally).

1. I’m Flattered, But

“I’m flattered, but” is a great formal alternative to saying “not interested.” You can use it in many different ways.

For instance, you might want to include it in an email to a client. It shows you how to tell a client you don’t want to work with them without hurting their feelings.

Starting an email with “I’m flattered” is a very polite and friendly thing to do.

Here is an email sample to help you with it:

Dear May,

I’m flattered, but I can no longer accept your job offer. Something has come up.

All the best,

2. I Appreciate the Offer, But

“I appreciate the offer, but” is another great example of how to decline a client politely.

You can also extend it to other business partners. It allows you to decline a business proposal in general while also showing appreciation for the initial email.

“I appreciate the offer” is a positive way to start an email. It shows formality and respect to the recipient. From there, you can explain why you’re not interested in something. “But” allows you to dig in and pick the best reasons.

Here is an example showing you how to use it:

Dear Mr. Smith,

I appreciate the offer, but I’m afraid I have to decline. Thank you for getting in touch, though.

Kind regards,

3. Something Else Has Come Up

“Something else has come up” is a subtle synonym for “not interested.” It shows you are no longer interested in a business opportunity.

It’s very polite because it isn’t an outright rejection. Instead, it’s a subtler way to let someone know that you are occupied with something else (which is usually more important or interesting to you).

Here is a quick example to help you understand it:

Dear Sharon,

I still appreciate you coming to me with this offer. However, I’m afraid something else has come up that I must accept.

All the best,

4. I’m Afraid I’ve Accepted Another Offer

“I’m afraid I’ve accepted another offer” is a great formal alternative. You can include it in a rejection letter or email when someone has offered you a new job.

If a better job comes along before you can accept, you should let the recipient know. Then, you can reject them quickly and politely without using any reasons that might insult them or their company.

You may also benefit from checking out this example:

Dear Chris,

I’m afraid I’ve accepted another offer, so your position no longer applies to me. Thank you, though.


5. I Can No Longer Do This

“I can no longer do this” shows you have lost interest in something. It’s a great synonym to use if you originally showed interest but have since changed your mind.

For instance, you might want to use it to say you’re not interested in a product anymore. That way, it shows you how to turn down a client nicely when they’re trying to sell you something new.

Perhaps these examples will help you understand it:

Dear Mr. Patel,

I can no longer do this, as I have decided to pursue a different path. I wish you all the best.


6. This No Longer Works for Me

“This no longer works for me” is a great professional alternative to “not interested” when you have changed your mind. It allows you to stay formal and polite while declining someone’s offer.

For example, you may want to politely decline a business request from a colleague. Initially, you may have thought it was a good idea. If you have since gone back on your decision, you should say “this no longer works for me.”

You may want to refer to the following example:

Dear Greg,

This no longer works for me, so I will no longer invest in your product. I’m sorry to do this.

Kind regards,

7. I’ve Been Made a Better Offer

“I’ve been made a better offer” is an honest synonym to show you are not interested. It lets the email recipient know you have explored other options and found someone that gave you what you were looking for.

Workplaces are competitive. Therefore, it’s common to have different companies bid on employees. So, if you say you’ve received a better offer when emailing about job opportunities, it isn’t rude or out of the ordinary. Most employers expect it.

Also, this email example will help you with it:

Dear Mr. Carter,

I’ve been made a better offer, so I cannot accept your job offer. I still appreciate the opportunity.

Dean Redford

8. I Am No Longer Interested

“I am no longer interested” is a direct and open synonym. You can use it when you want to be honest with the recipient.

It’s a polite way to let someone know you have lost interest in what they’re selling. For instance, you can use it to turn down a client’s proposal politely without worrying about hurting their feelings.

You can also check out this example to help you:

Dear Martha,

I am no longer interested in what you’re selling. I’m afraid you’ll have to find someone else to invest.


9. This Position No Longer Applies to Me

“This position no longer applies to me” is a great synonym if you’re looking for something more specific.

It works better when talking about job offers and opportunities that might offer you a position within a workplace.

Maybe this example will help you understand it:

Dear Riley,

This position no longer applies to me. Still, I thank you for coming to me with the offer.

All the best,

10. Unfortunately, I Cannot Accept

“Unfortunately, I cannot accept” is a polite way to refuse someone’s offer. It shows you cannot accept something, even though you regret it (“unfortunately” shows regret).

It’s a very formal and respectful choice. You should include it in business emails when you want to sound apologetic and friendly to the recipient. For instance, it works well if you’re emailing an employer who offered you a new job.

Here is a quick example to show you how it works:

Dear Phoebe,

Unfortunately, I cannot accept your proposal. There are far too many working pieces at play right now.

All the best,