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Communicating in the business world often requires the use of formal communication, especially by email. When sending emails, it's important to learn the best ways to conclude them professionally and respectfully before writing your name. One way to effectively end an email is with the phrase "best regards," which is versatile enough to be appropriate in both formal and informal communication. In this article, we discuss the meaning of best regards as well as a few alternatives to determine the best time to use each one.
What does best regards mean?
“Best regards” is a common, friendly closing for emails and written letters. When you see “best regards” near the end of a message, it simply means the writer wishes you well. It is a semiformal letter ending, versatile enough for both personal and professional correspondence. “Best regards” typically suggests that you respect the recipient, but don’t necessarily have a close personal relationship with them. Other similar closings include “best wishes,” “all the best” and “warmly.” More formal closings are “sincerely” or “respectfully.”
When to use best regards
"Best regards" can express respect, familiarity, well intention and professionalism. Here are a few examples in which you would use the phrase to effectively end an email:
- When communicating about a project with your boss or supervisor
- When communicating with a client with whom you have developed a working relationship with
- When communicating with a vendor you've worked with in the past
- When communicating with coworkers or team members
"Best regards" is most appropriate when you have a working relationship or previous communication with the recipient. Though it's most common when communicating via email, you can also use it to end a physical letter. Consider your relationship with the recipient and the intention of the message when determining whether or not "best regards" is a good choice to conclude your correspondence.
It can also be helpful to consider the alternatives to "best regards" and determine if any of them would be a better fit. Try adding a variety of different sign-offs at the end of your email, and determine which works best with your content.
Alternatives to best regards
The phrase "best regards" is a good choice for ending an email in many different situations, both professional and personal, but there are also other variations that you can use to express similar meanings. Here are some other sign-offs you can consider:
When you shorten the phrase "best regard*" to "regards," it becomes less formal. This is a good option for less professional forms of communication, such as when communicating casually with a coworker or a personal connection outside of work.
This is another shortened version of "best regards." While considered less formal, it can still be an acceptable form of professional communication. You might use the term "best" when emailing someone with who you communicate frequently.
"Kind regards" is a slightly more formal version of "best regards" that still shows respect. It can be used when introducing yourself to someone in an email or when emailing a supervisor or executive in your company.
This phrase is a more personal form of "best regards." It expresses appreciation to the recipient and is most appropriate when you're communicating with people who you know well, such as friends or family members.
If phrases like "best regards" do not fit the type of communication you are drafting, you might consider one of these alternatives:
The term "respectfully" expresses a high level of consideration and respect for the recipient. It is a good option when communicating with a boss, supervisor, hiring manager or professor.
This phrase is short and concise, making it a good option if you don't yet know the recipient or the level of formality you should use for them. Many people use "thank you" when communicating via email.
Thanks in advance
This alternative sign-off expresses your gratitude when asking the recipient to complete an action on your behalf. It is a good option when requesting more information or asking a coworker for a favor.
"Sincerely" is a good conclusion when you're trying to express professionalism without being too formal or informal. You might use it when drafting an email regarding a job application or discussing a potential business partnership.
Examples of using best regards
You can use "best regards" to conclude many different types of communication, especially ones in which you have previously met or worked with the recipient. Here are two examples of business emails that use "best regards" as a sign-off.
Example of a semi-formal email
Here is an example of using "best regards" to end a semi-professional email to a new business partner:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with my team yesterday. We feel that the meeting was very productive, and we look forward to developing a working relationship together over the next couple of months. Please feel free to reach out if you or your team members have any additional questions.
Example of a less formal email
Here is an example of an email that uses "best regards" in a less formal way with a coworker:
I've attached the documents you requested to begin the planning project. My team completed all of the requested drafts, and we look forward to collaborating together on this project. Once you've evaluated the drafts and feel we're ready to move forward, we can meet to discuss the next steps. Please let me know if you have any questions or require any edits in the meantime. We look forward to working on this project with you.