No Later Than (What To Use: No or Not, Than or Then)

What does no later than mean?

Is it no later than or not later than?

Perhaps it’s no later then?

In this article, we will break down the phrase “no later than” so you know all there is to know about it.

We will first look at the no later than meaning, look at its definition, when to use it, compare no later than vs not later than, no later than vs no later then, look at examples and more.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

No later than 

No later than means “at the latest” or “before”.

For example:

“The contract must be signed no later than by tomorrow noon for the discount to apply”

Alternatively, you can formulate the sentence as:

“The contract must be signed before tomorrow noon for the discount to apply”

The phrase “no later than” indicted that an action or an event has to take place before a certain deadline or within a certain timeline.

No later than definition 

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines no later than as follows:

“by (a specified time) : at, in, on, or before (a specified time)”

What’s notable from this definition is that something has to happen “by”, “on” or “before a certain time.

No later than in a sentence

The phrase “no later than” can be used in a sentence to refer to something that needs to be done or completed before a specific deadline.

Let’s look at a few examples in a sentence:

“You must pay this invoice no later than 30 days following its receipt to avoid interest charges”

“You must arrive to work no later than 8:30 am to start your shift if you want to get paid in full”

“You should be back home no later than 11 pm as it is not safe after that time”

“You must finish the job no later than tomorrow to avoid any further delays”

No later than abbreviation

NLT is the abbreviation of No Later Than.

An abbreviation is essentially a shortened version of the phrase using the first letter of each of the words composing the phrase.

No Later Than is therefore abbreviated as NLT.

What is meant by no later than?

No later than is an adverb phrase.

It means that something has to happen before a certain specified time or before something else can happen.

For example:

“you must renew your driver’s license no later than the expiry date showing on the card”

Is it no later than or then?

What is the difference between no later than or no later then?

The terms then or than are homophones whereby they sound the same but have different meanings.

“No later than” is when something has to happen before something else can be done.

“No later then” is an incorrect formulation of the no later than phrase.

This is caused because the words “then” and “than” sound the same.

Is it “no later than” or “not later than”?

Lawyers are careful in using the proper terms, expressions and phrases when drafting contracts.

One question that comes up is: what do you use, ‘no later than’ or ‘not later than’?

Although both phrases mean the same, not later than is used in a more formal context.

For example, regulations, rulebooks, bylaws or policies may use the “not later than” phrase instead of “no later than”.

To all the lawyers out there, so which one should you use?

That will depend on how formal you want to be.

Perhaps, more often than not, you may want to stick to a less formal writing style.

However, if you are drafting policies, rules or other formal or official documents, you may want to use not later than.

To use not later than in a formal context, we can say:

“Board member nominations must be received by the corporate secretary not later than by December 31st”

To use no later than in a less formal context, we can say:

“The corporate secretary should receive the board member nominations no later than by December 31st”

No later than examples 

Let’s look at some ‘no later than’ examples so you can see how it is used in the English language or in contracts.

“The contract must be renewed no later than its expiration date”

“Your paper must be submitted no later than the deadline”

“Make sure you complete this project no later than tomorrow”

“You should arrive no later than 15 minutes before the appointment”

Frequently asked questions 

Is there a difference between no later than or no later then?

No later than is an adverb phrase meaning that something has to happen by a certain time.

No later then is an incorrect way of wanting to write no later than.

The reason why some may write no later then instead of no later than is due to the terms then and than sounding the same.

In English, words that sound the same but mean different things are called homophones.

Is there a difference between no later than or not later than?

“No later than” or “not later than” are used to indicate that something must be done before a certain date or timeline.

The phrase no later than is less formal and is used more often than not later than.

For example, the phrase no later than will be used in casual conversations, emails or letters as follows:

“You should make it here no later than by 7 pm”

“The work should be completed no later than noon tomorrow”

“The goods must be shipped no later than August 1st”

Not later than is used in more formal writings such as rulebooks, regulations, statutes and contracts, such as:

“This offer is valid not later than August 1st at 5 pm”

“The board of directors shall meet not later than within 21 days from the receipt of a notice from a board member”

“All RFP’s must be filed and received not later than December 31st”

What does no later than a certain date mean?

No later than a certain date means that something has to be done “before” a certain date.

For example:

“You must pass your exam no later than the end of this month”

Alternatively, you could write this as:

“You must pass your exam before the end of this month”

What’s the opposite of no later than?

The phrase that means the opposite if no later than is no earlier than.

For example:

“You must arrive at the hospital no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment”

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