November 21, 2019

How to Format a Business Letter

Business letters or other communications and correspondence are essential communication tools for any business leader.

Knowing how to write to business colleagues, clients, and others correctly allows companies and individuals to express themselves accurately and professionally within written correspondence. 

Although in recent years, the written business letter has been used less with the advent of email, well-formatted and written letters can help provide a real positive reflection on any business or individual.

But how do you write a well-written business letter? 

Let’s take a look below at the short answer and to how to format a business letter, then we’ll dive into more details…

Closeup of man in blue shirt writing a letter with an elegant pen on a mahogany desk

How do you format a business letter?

When formatting a business letter, make sure you address your letter correctly and to think carefully about the relationship you have with the recipient. 


You should also make sure all the subjects you include are communicated in paragraphs, reference all closures, grammar check your letter, and strive to use a polite and professional tone.


Now that we’ve seen the brief answer as to how to write a well-crafted business letter, let’s take a look at why it’s important to create excellent business correspondence.

Why do I need to create great business correspondence?

So, why is it important to write and be able to format great business letters? 

Because being able to communicate effectively in writing is vital to the credibility of your business – and also as an individual.

Having the skills required to write a proper letter format and ability to write a cohesive and well-crafted business letter effectively can help you to achieve the following:

● Shape your own or your company’s reputation
● Improve productivity
● And build your clientele
● Assist the company in running more efficiently
● Exchanging business information
● Establishing a business relationship
● Creation of markets and advertising
● Provide a replacement for a personal visit
● Cost and time saving
● Maintains privacy
● Increases goodwill
● Formal agreement
● Settlement of transaction
● Use as reference
● Legal acceptance
● Assistance in local and international trade

So now we’ve looked at 16 great reasons to make sure you format a business letter correctly, let’s take a look below at some great tips on how to make sure you’re writing the most professional and effective letter possible.

Where do I start?

Your business letter is a representation of your company, so it’s important that it looks professional, distinctive, and immediately communicates a high-quality experience for your customers or readers.


Along these lines, it’s important to make sure you spend some time creating a letterhead that reflects your company’s image and style. Finally, you should also make sure to use a standard business letter format and template. 


The most widely used format for business letters follows these guidelines:

Block Style – traditional block style, where the text of the whole letter is “justified” to the left

Single-spaced text – except for double spaces between paragraphs

Margins – margins are usually about 1-inch (or 25.4 mm) on all sides of the document, which is the default setting for most word processing programs.

*If you’re using something like Microsoft Word©, you can look on the tools menu to locate the built-in letter wizard for additional formatting assistance.

Business letter template Fields

Now that we’ve looked into business letter fields, let’s take a closer look at one of the most important aspects of your business letter: how to begin.

Date – use a month, day, year format, for example, March 26th, 2021 or March 26th, 2021

Senders address – it is useful to include the sender’s email and URL, available. However, you can omit this if that information is already included in the letterhead design.

Inside address – use the recipient’s full name, example, Mr. John Smith

Salutation – is your salutation choice on your relationship with your recipient. salutation for a business letter is the salutation dear, by the person’s name and sometimes a title, cruising with a colon, for example, Dear Ms. Chandler: Dear Jane, Dear Attorney Chandler. A comma followed by the recipient’s name is correct only for a personal letter.

Body text – make sure you state why you are writing. Also, make a point to establish any connection you share, outline the solution, and provide proof in the form of examples and expert opinions. Make sure that you group related information into paragraphs.

If possible, start your business letter by making a reference to a previous contact, (i.e. a phone conversation, meeting, previous email correspondence). 

If you’re making reference to a previous contact, you should do so like this:

‘I am or we are writing regarding…’

● Your inquiry regarding…

● Our phone conversation

● In reply to your request for…

If you’re communicating with your contact for the first time, you should focus your introduction on explaining the purpose of your correspondance:

● “I am, or we are writing to confirm, inquire about, etc.”

● “I am contacting you for the following reason, I recently heard about XYZ and would like to ABC.”

Beyond your introduction, the content of your letter should be concise, to the point, and require minimal read time. Writing a business letter with respect for the value of your audience’s time is the best way to ensure they will respond positively.

How to Close your letter

While starting your business letter properly is often the biggest determiner of its overall effectiveness, ending it well equally as important. 

If you have accompanying materials with your correspondence, then you should reference those enclosures as suggested in the examples below.

●    Please find enclosed (for letter)

●    Please find attached (for email attachments)

It shows good communication skills and is also a courteous business type gesture to offer future assistance as you close out your letters – such as:

●    If you require further information please let us know

●    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further assistance


A good close to a business letter can also refer to possible future contact.


●     I am looking forward to hearing from you soon

●     We are looking forward to meeting you on June 4th in New York

●     We would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience


When closing your business letter, the salutation should match the one chosen for the opening of your business letter.

For the most professional sign of to your properly format a business letter, use blue or black ink.

So now we’ve looked into some of the more in-depth the ways of creating a professional business letter, let’s take a look below at the style of language that is appropriate for creating a business letter and other important considerations.

Use a professional tone.

Casual, or chatty language should be saved for emails to contacts you are familiar with. your printed business letters should be friendly but with a much more professional tone.


Use correct grammar.

Nothing detracts from a business letter more than obvious misspellings or glaring grammatical errors.


Many people have become accustomed to using spellcheck programs to highlight any mistakes, spend the time to proofread important business Communications. When you are taking the time to format and write a professional business letter you need to ensure that it’s properly formed. this includes making sure that all the words are accurately spelled and is legible where relevant.


Make sure your business – or you as an individual, invest in a good reference book and always have someone to cast an eye over your most important business letters for accuracy and readability.


And finally…

Even though it may be that your business culture lens itself more to sending emails rather than business letters, make sure you take the time to communicate with your customers and other clients in a formal and professional way.


Applying these methods will give your readers a well-rounded and respectable view of your company – as an accurately presented business letter will give an impressionable experience for potential clients, and colleagues within your organization, and any others you communicate with.

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