Abstract The synthesis of the title ligands N-benzothiazol-2-yl-benzamide ( 1), N-benzoxazol-2-yl-benzamide ( 2) and N-(1 H-benzimidazol-2-yl)-benzamide ( 3) is described. The molecular structure of 1 confirms the localization of a hydrogen atom at the nitrogen atom of the benzamide group. The ligands form 2:1 metal chelates under deprotonization with Cu II, Ni II, Pd II and Zn II. 3 gives a cationic silver(I) complex. The complexes were characterized by XPS, NMR, and FAB mass spectroscopy. The molecular structure of two complexes was determined.