What is the proper word for “entry fee”?

Let’s suppose A and B are negotiating on something. However, A has trust issues with B, so A things that B is not sincere in negotiation. Because of this, A wants B to pay him some “entry fee” before the negotiations even takes place to prove B’s sincerity towards negotiation.

Now, please tell me, what is the proper word for this kind of “entry fee”?

  • 1
    It could be a surety bond of some kind.
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


We could call it a show/sign/gesture of good faith. It's quite common in casual business dealings. You might also call it a downpayment, borrowed from the practice of making a large initial payment when obtaining a loan for a car or house to prove that one has the financial resources to repay the whole loan.

Edited to Add:

In this situation, I would avoid using the specific term entry fee; that implies a pre-defined set amount that everyone must pay to enter a location or activity, rather than an ad hoc payment to establish trust.


That situation is quite usual. I think the best word would be deposit.

According to Cambridge Dictionary:

deposit (verb) (MONEY) = to put something valuable, especially money, in a bank or safe (= strong box or cupboard with locks):

  • There's a night safe outside the bank, so you can deposit money whenever you wish.
  • I deposited £500 in my account this morning. ​

deposit (verb) (MONEY) = to pay someone an amount of money when you make an agreement with that person to pay for or buy something, that either will be returned to you later, if the agreed arrangement is kept, or that forms part of the total payment:

  • When we moved in, we had to deposit $1,000 with the landlord in case we broke any of his things.
  • You deposit 20 percent now and pay the rest when the car is delivered.

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