A proper business letter format can be critical to the success of your communication. Get a free business letter template and a business letter example here!
These days, most business related written communication occurs electronically via email or perhaps ticketing and project management applications. However, knowing proper form for a business letter is still a great skill to have. Since formal business letter format can apply to a wide variety of situations, there is a good chance that at one point or another, you’re going to need to know how to write a business letter!
Business letters can be formal correspondences sent from one company to another, for example, a non-profit seeking sponsorship from a business for an event. They can also be from a business to its clients or customers, employees, partners, or stakeholders. Business letters can also be used for professional correspondence, from individuals to companies; examples of this would be cover letters and reference letters or written recommendations.
See, knowing how to write a business letter can come in handy for many different things!
Parts of a Business Letter Format
There are different types of business letter templates, but the two most common types are indented and block business letter format. While these two types of business letters look a little different, they contain the same parts. The parts of a business letter format, in order, are:
- Your contact information.
- The date.
- The recipient’s contact information.
- The salutation.
- The body of the letter.
- The closing salutations. (We’ll get to proper business letter closings in a bit.)
- Your signature.
Tip: The pieces of info you need to collect to have proper form for a business letter can seem overwhelming. However, some of them won’t change drastically from letter-to-letter. If you find yourself needing to write business letters on a regular basis, create a sample business letter template that you can re-use. Below you’ll find a ready-to-go business cover letter template that you can also use! 🙂
How to Address a Business Letter
Whether you’re using indented or block business letter format, you need to have a salutation. The salutation is how you greet the recipient. When it comes to how to address a business letter, you have a couple of options, but it is important to remember that this is a business letter and therefore will most likely be more formal than most other types of written communication. The most common salutations are:
- To Whom It May Concern – This salutation is used when you aren’t sure whom you’re addressing. For example, if you’re sending a resume to an HR department, the business cover letter will most often be addressed to “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. [Last Name] – This salutation is used when you have a specific intended recipient.
How to Write Business Letter Closings
Proper business letter format also calls for a closing. The most common way to close a business letter is with “sincerely.” However, there are some other options you can consider for business letter closings. For example:
- All the best
- Thank you
How to Write a Business Letter: Business Letter Formats
If you’re using the indented business letter format, you will align your contact information and the date to the right-hand side of the page and everything else will align left. If you’re using the block business letter format, you will align everything to the left-hand side of the page. Either is proper business letter format; however, the block format may be a little more common.
Below are some tips for constructing the body of your business letter. This the most important part as it contains what you want from the recipient and is your chance to persuade him, her, or the company to follow through. Note that the entire body of the letter should be concise and to the point.
In formal business letter format, the opening paragraph should, in a clear and simple manner, reveal the purpose of your letter. For example, you may write “I am writing in reference to…” or “I am writing in regards to…”; this is where you tell the individual or business what you want.
The following paragraphs should provide evidence that supports your request. For example, if you’re writing a business cover letter the first paragraph would tell the recipient which position you’re applying for and the next paragraph(s) would provide specific examples of why you should be considered. (See the business letter example for more.)
The closing paragraph should be super brief. It should restate your request, and it should thank the reader for his or her time.
While the content of your business letters will change from situation to situation, proper form for a business letter calls for the body to be single spaced with an added space between each paragraph.
Sample Business Letter Example: Cover Letter
What follows is a business letter example of a cover letter using the block business letter format.
123 Main Street
Small Town, MD 12345
March 18, 2022
Humane Resources Department
123 Business Rd.
Commerce City, MD 12345
To Whom It May Concern,
I’m writing to express my interest in the Freebie Finder position with ABC Investments. Attached you’ll find my resume. I believe my skills and experience would make me an asset to the team.
Specifically, my financial acumen, research skills, and advanced knowledge of the Freebie Finding database would align well with the position’s responsibilities. I also served in a very similar position as Deal Finder at Frugal Investments for five years.
While I do not have extensive experience with Pro-Finder software, I do have a certification in XYZ software, which is a direct competitor of Pro-Finder and is a comparable product. I’ve used XYZ software on a daily basis for the past three years.
I would love to further discuss the Freebie Finder position and how my background could benefit ABC Investments. Thank you in advance for your time.
Business Letter Template: Cover Letter
The sample business letter above should give you a pretty good idea as to what a business letter might look like. To practice writing a business letter or create one you can actually send out, download the business letter template. As with the business letter example, the template is for a cover letter, but you can reuse some of the elements, regardless of what your letter pertains to!
More Letter Templates
Learning business letter format is all well and good but you may need to write other, less formal letters at some point. Here are some additional templates to help make things easier!
- Free Printable Elf on the Shelf Letter Template
- Teacher Welcome Letter Template – Free and Customizable
- 4 Free Printable Santa Letter Templates
- 2 Free Printable Tooth Fairy Letters