Business Letter Format With Examples

A business letter is a formal document often sent from one company to another or from a company to its clients, employees, and stakeholders, for example. Business letters are used for professional correspondence between individuals, as well.

Writing an effective, polished business letter can be an easy task, so long as you adhere to the established rules for layout and language.

Realize that your recipient reads a significant amount of correspondence on a regular basis and will favor well-executed letters that are free of typos and grammatical errors.

What to Include in the Letter

Make the purpose of your letter clear through simple and targeted language, keeping the opening paragraph brief. You can start with, “I am writing in reference to…” and from there, communicate only what you need to say.

The subsequent paragraphs should include information that gives your reader a full understanding of your objective(s) but avoid meandering sentences and needlessly long words. Again, keep it concise to sustain their attention.

If your intent is to persuade the recipient in some way, whether it’s to invest money, give you a reference, hire you, partner with you, or fix an issue, create a compelling case for your cause.

If, for example, you want the reader to sponsor a charity event, identify any overlap with their company’s philanthropic goals. Convince the reader that helping you would be mutually beneficial, and you will increase your chances of winning their support.

Sections of a Business Letter

Each section of your letter should adhere to the appropriate format, starting with your contact information and that of your recipient’s; salutation; the body of the letter; closing; and finally, your signature.

Your Contact Information

  • Your Name
  • Your Job Title
  • Your Company
  • Your Address
  • City, State Zip Code
  • Your Phone Number
  • Your Email Address

The Date

  • The date you’re penning the correspondence

Recipient’s Contact Information

  • Their Name
  • Their Title
  • Their Company
  • The Company’s Address
  • City, State Zip Code

The Salutation

  • Use “To Whom It May Concern,” if you’re unsure specifically whom you’re addressing.
  • Use the formal salutation “Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. [Last Name],” if you do not know the recipient.
  • Use “Dear [First Name],” only if you have an informal relationship with the recipient.

The Body

  • Use single-spaced lines with an added space between each paragraph, after the salutation, and above the closing.
  • Left justify your letter (against the left margin).

Closing Salutation

Keep your closing paragraph to two sentences. Simply reiterate your reason for writing and thank the reader for considering your request. Some good options for your closing include:

  •  Respectfully yours
  •  Yours sincerely
  •  Cordially
  •  Respectfully

If your letter is less formal, consider using:

  • All the best
  • Best
  • Thank you
  • Regards

Your Signature

Write your signature just beneath your closing and leave four single spaces between your closing and your typed full name, title, phone number, email address, and any other contact information you want to include. Use the format below:

Your handwritten signature

Typed full name
Title

Business Letter Template

You can use this business letter sample as a model and download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) for the text version below.

©TheBalance 2018 

Business Letter Sample (Text Version)

Linda Lau
Northern State University
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
linda.lau@email.com

March 5, 2020

Oscar Lee
Managing Editor
Acme Graphic & Design
123 Business Rd.
Business City, CA 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

I would like to invite you to attend our upcoming Liberal Arts department job networking event. The event will be held on the afternoon of May 1, 2020. We wish to provide our graduating seniors with an opportunity to meet business leaders in the area who may be looking for new hires who hold degrees in the Liberal Arts.

The event will be held at the Cox Student Center at Northern State University and will last about two to three hours. If you have an interest in attending or sending a company representative to meet with our students, please let me know at your earliest convenience and I can reserve a table for you.

Thank for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Respectfully,

(signature hard copy letter)

Linda Lau
Liberal Arts Department Chair

Email Signature Example

Sending an Email Business Letter

Yours sincerely,

First Name Last Name
Title
Your Address
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Be clear why you’re sending the message. Include the topic you’re writing about in the subject line of the email, so the reader is clear as to why you are sending the message.

Tips for Writing a Business Letter

It’s always helpful to see examples to get ideas on how to write a business letter, including what type of font to use, selecting the margins and formatting it properly.

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