There are many different types of business letters you might use in your professional career. From cover letters to letters of recommendation, drafting a clean, readable business letter can help you communicate ideas clearly. There are several steps you can take to make a business letter professional and appropriate for the audience of your letter.
How to Format a Business Letter
When formatting your business letter, readability should be your top priority. From selecting a font style to correcting margins, you should make sure your letter is clean, clear and highly readable. There are a few different things to think about when formatting your business letter:
- Select a professional font size and style
- Include sections for all necessary information
- Pay attention to spacing and margins
- Begin and end your letter properly
Let’s explore each of these formatting instructions in detail.
1. Select a professional font size and style
When deciding on which font to choose for your business letter, you should pay attention to cleanliness and readability. While it may seem tempting to select a stylistic font that personalized the letter, it might be difficult for your audience to read. They should be able to get the information they need from your letter as quickly as possible.
Related: Best Font for a Resume: How to Choose Style and Size
Here are a few examples of popular fonts used in professional documents:
- Gill Sans
- Open Sans
- Times New Roman
When selecting a font size, you should consider the smallest size for which your document will still be easily readable. You should stay between 10 and 12 points for your font. Smaller than 10 point fonts will be difficult to read, while fonts larger than 12 points might appear unprofessional.
Related: How to Choose Cover Letter Font and Font Size
2. Include sections for all necessary information
When designing the layout for your business letter, you should keep in mind all of the necessary information typically included on a professional document. Typically, a business letter includes the following information at the top:
- Your contact information (Name, job title, company, address, phone number, email)
- The date
- Recipient’s contact information (Name, job title, company, company address)
This information is followed by a salutation, then the body, followed by your close and signature. When drafting your business letter, be sure to include all appropriate information.
3. Pay attention to spacing and margins
Spacing plays an important role in making your business letter appear readable and professional. Be sure to put spaces between the elements at the top of your letter (your contact information, the date and their contact information), followed by another space to begin your letter.
In the body paragraphs, your letter should be single-spaced to create a clean yet readable document. You should include a space between each paragraph and before and after your closing. It is best practice to align your entire letter to the left side of the page, as opposed to centered or aligned right. This makes it easy to follow for the audience.
Typically a professional document has one-inch margins. It is appropriate for margins to be a bit larger than usual (up to one and a quarter inch) for business letters.
4. Begin and end your letter properly
As you start your letter, you should address the recipient appropriately. If you do not know the recipient, it is appropriate to include a general greeting like “To Whom it May Concern” or addressing them by their job title, such as “Dear Director of Finance.” If you know the recipient’s name but have never formally met them or have only briefly met, you should include a more proper greeting like, “Dear Mr. [Last Name]” or “Dear Ms. [Last Name]”. If you have a deeper relationship with the recipient, feel free to greet them with their first name as you would address them in person.
Select a brief, appropriate closing as you end your letter like “Sincerely,” “Respectfully” or “All the best,” followed by your first and last name and job title. You should include a space between the close and your name.
Business letter format example
Here’s an example of a business letter format you can use as a template when drafting your own business letter:
Sr. Project Manager
Crane & Jenkins
555 Apple Ln.
July 1, 2025
Sr. Data Analyst
100 Orange Cir.
Dear Mr. Love,
It is my pleasure to strongly recommend Wendy Jones for the Jr. Data Analyst role with Cloud Clearwater. I am Rosa Gomez, a project manager at Crane & Jenkins. I have 12 years of experience working in the tech industry, and have seen many young professionals come and go. Ms. Jones is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out.
During our time together, Wendy displayed great talents in data analytics. When we first met, I was immediately impressed with Wendy, but during the time 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, however. Wendy 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 myself, but by her peers, who often relied on her to get the job done.
I am absolutely confident that Wendy would be a great fit at Cloud Clearwater. Not only will she bring the kind of skills and experiences you’re looking for in an applicant, she will 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 (555) 111-9999. 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.
Sr. Marketing Manager
Here are a few other types of business letters you can learn how to write, format and send: