Career Development

Business Letter Format and Example

October 11, 2021

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.

Business sections of a business letter

A properly formatted business letter should have the following sections:

  1. Your contact information
  2. The date
  3. Recipient’s contact information
  4. Opening salutation
  5. Body
  6. Closing salutation
  7. Your signature

1. Your contact information

On the left-hand side of your business letter, you should list your contact info:
First name Last name
Address
City, State Zip Code
Phone

2. The date

Add a space after your contact information and then add the date of your letter:

Month, Day Year

3. Recipient’s contact information

Add a space after the date of the business letter and then add the recipient’s contact information:

First name Last name
Address
City, State Zip Code
Phone

4. Opening salutation

Add a space after the recipient’s contact information and then choose a salutation to open your business letter. Common opening business letter salutations include:

Read more: Writing Salutation for Letters: Tips and Examples

5. Body

The body of a business letter is where you express the purpose of your communication and is typically no longer than three to four paragraphs.

  • Paragraph 1: Opening

  • Paragraph 2: The argument

  • Paragraph 3: Closing

6. Closing salutation

Add a space after the body of the letter and then choose a salutation to close your business letter. Common closing business letter salutations include:

  • Respectfully yours,
  • Respectfully,
  • Cordially,
  • Sincerely,
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Thank you,

Related: How To Write a Business Letter Salutation (With Tips and Examples)

7. Signature

Add two lines and sign your full name. The following line, print your first and last name.

Signature
First name Last name

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:

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.

Here are a few examples of popular fonts used in professional documents:

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

When selecting a font size, you should consider the smallest size in 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.

2. Include sections for all necessary information

When designing the layout for your business letter, 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 and then the body, followed by your close and signature. When drafting your business letter, be sure to include all appropriate information.

Read more: The 7 Parts of a Business Letter

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 inches) 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 know the recipient, feel free to greet them by their first name.

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 when drafting your own business letter:

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

July 1, 2019

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 with 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

Business letter format template

Here’s a business letter format template you can use when formatting 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

Read more: Templates for Business Letters (With Tips)

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