Best Formal Business Letter Format with Examples

In some courses, professors require students to write business letters to practice communicating professionally, so we will explain how you can create the best letter possible.

Whenever there is a need to communicate with another company, business letters can be used to present your message in a polished, classic style.

Business letters have a formal tone and have a proper letter format. However, letters are quite versatile, as they can be used for announcements, cover letters, official requests, and much more.

Despite the formal letter format, business letters can be written in a friendly tone. But you should always make sure that your letter is clear and concise. At the same time, it should also be easy to read.

business letter is an important formal document that needs to be structured properly. This is especially because it is used for professional correspondence between companies as well as individuals. 

Even though most companies have shifted to using emails, printed-out business letters are still in use. They are mainly used in serious types of business correspondence such as job offers, employment verification, reference letters, and more.

If you are not sure how to write a properly structured business letter, you are in the right place. In this guide, we will discuss the details of a business letter format with examples.

Parts of a Formal Business Letter

business letter can be divided into different parts. We have explained each part of business letter in the order in which it should be written. The letter should start with the sender’s address if you are not using a letterhead.

  1. Sender’s address

The sender’s address is usually included on the letterhead. However, if you are not using a letterhead, you must include the sender’s address at the top, above the date. 

You should avoid writing the name of the sender. That’s because you will be including it at the end of the letter. The sender’s address should include only the city name, zip code, and street address.

  1. Date

After the sender’s name comes the date. The date you use should match the date the letter was written. But if it took you more than one day to finish the letter, you should include the date when it was finished.

Since this is a business letter, you should follow the international date format, which is written as year, then the month, then the day.

  1. Inside address

The inside address refers to the address of the person you are sending the letter to. Even if you are writing this letter to another company, it is always better to address it to a specific individual at the firm. 

You must include a personal title such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Dr. People like it when they are addressed by a personal title. 

For international addresses, you should include the country’s name in all-capital letters on the last line. If you are sending the letter within the US, you should use the US Post Office format. The inside address should always be on the left side, regardless of the business letter format you are using.

  1. Salutation

In the salutation section, you should include the same name that you used in the inside address. However, if you typically address the person by their first name, you can use only their first name in the salutation. But in all other cases, you must include a personal title and last name followed by a colon. Also, don’t forget to skip one line after the salutation.

In case you don’t know the gender of the recipient, you should use a non-sexist salutation. For instance, you can use their job title followed by their name. You can also use the full name of the person in a salutation. For example, you can write Dear Tiffany Smith, if you are unsure of Tiffany’s gender.

  1. Body

Now comes the body which is the most important part of a formal business letter. If you are following a block format, left justify and single space each paragraph. You should also leave a blank line after every paragraph you write.

When writing a business letter make sure that your letter is clear and concise. The first paragraph should start with a friendly opening followed by a statement related to the main point. 

In the next paragraph, you should emphasize the importance of the main point. The same should be followed for the next few paragraphs. But make sure to include some supporting details and background information. In the closing paragraph, you should once again stress the purpose of the letter. In some cases, you might have to request some type of action.

  1. Closing

The closing should be at the same vertical point as your date. You should include the closing just a line after the last paragraph of the body.

Remember to capitalize the first word. For example: Thank you. Also, there should be a gap of four lines between the sender’s name and the closing for a signature. 

  1. Enclosures

If you want to attach any documents along with the letter, indicate it by typing Enclosures below the closing. 

The best thing to do is to make a list of all the document names that you are providing with the letter. If you are including more than one document, you need to make the recipient aware of each document. This is why listing the documents is a good idea.

  1. Initials

Last but not the least, you also need to include the initials of the typist. This is the person who wrote the letter. 

If the letter was written or typed by you, you can omit the typist’s initials.

So these are the different parts of a business letter that must be included in your letter. You must also follow the same order as mentioned above.

Business letter format template:

Here’s a business letter format template for you to refer to while writing a business letter:

[Your full name]
[Professional title]
[Company]
[Street address]
[City, State ZIP Code]
[Phone]
[Email address]

[Date]

[Recipient full name]
[Professional title]
[Company]
[Street address]
[City, State ZIP Code]
[Phone]
[Email address]

Dear [Recipient’s Last Name],

[Introductory paragraph]

[Explanatory paragraph]

[Closing paragraph]

Sincerely,
[Signature]

[Full name Last name]

Examples of Formal Business Letter:

Check out the following business letter examples to get a clear idea of what a business letter should look like.

Roshni Duttaa Gomez
Sr. Project Manager
Asomtech Solutions
42/08, Bose road
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
050 2948 2948
rdutta@email.com

July 1, 2021

Ram Prasad
Sr. Data Analyst
Clouddatanow Tech
101 Solanki Street
Kanchan marg, Kolkata, West Bengal

Dear Ram Prasad,

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend Aashna Singhania for the Jr. Data Analyst role at Clouddatanow Tech. I am Roshni Duttaa, a project manager at Asomtech Solutions. I have 12 years of experience working in the tech industry and have seen many young professionals come and go. Ms. Singhania is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.

During our time together, Aashna displayed great talents in data analytics. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Aashna but during the time we worked together, her understanding of analyzing data to achieve results for our company grew far more than that of her peers.

It’s not just her technical skills that impress me. Aashna was a joy to work with because of her amazingly positive attitude and ability to communicate across teams. Her focus and attention to detail were also necessary and valued not just by me but also by her peers who often relied on her to get the job done.

I am absolutely confident that Aashna would be a great fit at Clouddatanow Tech. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, but she will also quickly become an asset and help your company grow in any way she can.

If you need more information or specific examples, please do not hesitate to contact me at 050 2948 2948. As a recommendation letter likely only provides a snapshot of her talents and achievements, I would be happy to further elaborate on my time working with her.

Sincerely,
Roshni Dutta
Sr. Project Manager

Different Types of Business Letter Formats

After discussing the different parts of business letter, let’s talk about the different types of business letters. There are basically three types of business letters. To give you an idea, we have explained each of them below.

  1. Block Format

This is probably the most common business letter layout out there. When you use the block format, your entire letter is single-spaced and left-justified. You leave a double space between paragraphs.

  1. Modified Block

This is yet another format that is popular in the professional world. In this type of formal letter, the sender’s address, the body of the letter, and the recipient’s address are single-spaced and left-justified. But the closing and the date starts from the center point.

  1. Semi-Block

The semi-block format is not as popular as the other styles. It is similar to the modified block style except that every paragraph is indented, not left-justified.

It should be noted that different companies have different format requirements when it comes to professional communication. Your business letter format should be flexible to reflect variables like templates and letterheads.

Tips To Write A Business Letter

Now that you know how to write a business letter, here are some tips you can follow to make your letter-perfect.

  1. Use a professional tone

Business letters are not meant to be written in a casual language. However, it should have a friendly tone, but in a more professional way.

Your business letter should be courteous, sincere, and confident. Make sure that your letter doesn’t contain any discriminatory language. Also, it should be written at the right level of difficulty. But most importantly, you should sound like yourself. The recipient shouldn’t feel that the letter is written by a machine.

  1. Write clearly

State all your important points at the beginning of your letter. To avoid any type of misunderstanding or miscommunication, you should use clear and concise language.

Be straightforward and keep your focus on the main points. Use more lively words, instead of the industry jargon. This will help you to grab the reader’s attention.

  1. Use colour to emphasize important words

You can use colour to draw attention to the important words in your letter. When selecting a colour to highlight certain parts of your letter make sure that you opt for a light colour such as light green, yellow, or light blue. This is because these colours are catchy.

  1. Organize all the information in a logical order

You must organise the information logically. For instance, group related details into separate paragraphs. 

If you are writing a long information-packed business letter, organise all the details into different sections with subheadings. You can also highlight the important words to make them easily noticeable. 

  1. Be persuasive

Try to establish a positive relationship with your reader. If you know the reader or met the person before, mention it in your introductory paragraph. It is possible that your reader may not agree with your point. But this can help you build your case and find a common ground with the reader.

Think about the reaction of the reader when they read your letter. Address the person’s wishes or problem, and then provide your solution. You can also include your expert opinion to support your points. Regardless of what you do, make sure to maintain a friendly tone throughout the letter.

  1. Proofread your letter

Before you send your letter, you should always proofread it to find errors and fix them. If there are any spelling mistakes, punctuation, or grammar errors, you can fix them while proofreading your letter. 

This is an important step of writing a business letter and shouldn’t be skipped.

  1. Select a professional font style and size 

When choosing a font style for your formal business letter, pay attention to readability and cleanliness. No matter how tempting it is to choose a stylistic font, you must think of your readers. You should choose a font that is easier for them to recognize and read. They should be able to get the information from your letter as quickly as possible.

Here are some of the font styles you can use for a business letter:

  • Arial
  • Avenir
  • Calibri
  • Georgia
  • Gill Sans
  • Corbel
  • Roboto
  • Times New Roman
  • Garamond
  • Helvetica
  • Open Sans

As far as the font size is concerned, you should consider 10 or 12 points. Anything smaller than 10 point fonts will be hard to read. On the other hand, if you choose anything bigger than 12, it may appear unprofessional.

Now that you know the key to writing an effective business letter, you should be able to perform well when you are actually required to write one.

  1. Pay attention to margins and spacing

Spacing has an important role to play in your business letter. It can make your letter appear more professional and readable. You should not forget to put space between the different elements at the top of your letter. 

The body paragraphs should be single-spaced. You should also include a space between each paragraph as well as before and after your closing. This way you can align your letter to the left side of the page so that it becomes easier for your reader to read it.

  1. Focus on the starting and end of your letter

You should address the reader properly at the start of your letter. If you don’t know the person, it is appropriate to use a general greeting. For instance, “To Whom It May Concern.” You can also address them by their job title like “Dear Director of Finance.”

If you know the reader’s name, you can use a proper greeting like, “Dear Mr. (Last Name)” or “Dear Ms. (Last Name).” If you have a good relationship with the reader, you can greet them by their first name.

You must use a brief closing at the end of your letter like “Respectfully” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name and job title. Also, include a space between the closing and your name.

Final Tips

Writing a formal business letter can be difficult, especially if you are writing it for the first time. But after going through this guide, it should be easier for you to write a good business letter. Follow the business letter templates and examples and incorporate the tips and you should be good to go. Also, you should check out our article on Pronouns to know more about how to address the person in a letter.

FAQs

What is the format for writing a business letter?

  • The most common business letter format includes a sender’s address, date, an inside address, a salutation, body paragraphs, closing, and typist initials.

What are the 3 formats of a business letter?

  • The three types of business letters are block, semi-block, and modified block.

What are the 7 parts of a business letter?

The seven parts of business letter are:

  • Sender’s address
  • Date
  • Recipient’s address
  • Salutation
  • Body
  • Closing
  • Enclosures

 How do you write business correspondence?

  • business letter or correspondence should include the date, recipient’s name, company, and address. When writing a business letter, you must use a personal title with the recipient’s name and also use a professional closing. In the end, you should physically sign the letter and include your name, address, email, and phone number.

What is a business letter for example?

  • business letter is a formal letter that is usually sent to another company or individual. It also follows a formal letter format.

What do I write in a business letter?

To write a perfect business letter, you should include the following:

  • Sender’s address
  • Date
  • Recipient’s address
  • Salutation
  • Body
  • Closing
  • Typist initials
  • Enclosures

 What are the 7 common business letters?

  • The seven most common business letters are cover letters, thank you letters, complaint letters, bad newsletters, acknowledgment letters, congratulatory letters, and memos.

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