There are many occasions on which you may need to write a business letter, whether to the president of your local bank, or for other professional business reasons. Writing a business letter isn’t too difficult, as long as you know what information to include and how to format your letter so that it looks professional.
There are several ways to write a business letter, and all are appropriate though some are a bit more involved than others. In this article, we will stick to a basic outline. This will help you create a business letter that looks professional, but is not overly complicated.
1. Date your letter. Place the date in the upper left-hand corner, about 4 to 6 spaces from the top of the page. Include the current date here as a point of reference.
2. Address the recipient. Space down 2 spaces from the date, and then include the name of the recipient, along with title, name of company and address.
3. Salutation. Dear “Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.,” followed by the recipient’s last name is appropriate. If you have no name and cannot locate one, simply use “Dear Sir or Madam”.
4. Body of your letter. In a business letter, do not indent your paragraphs. Simply space between paragraphs and keep your information brief and to the point. Summarize the purpose of your letter in the first sentence.
5. Close your letter. After completing the body of your business letter, end with a closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards”, followed by your name and title.
6. Proofread and edit. Once your letter is complete, proofread it for spelling and grammar errors, and edit where necessary.
7. Use company letterhead. If you have it, write your letter on company letterhead. If it is a personal letter, use your own stationery with a letterhead or type your name, address and contact information across the top center of the page.
Sample Business Letter
Letterhead or name, address and contact information
City, State, Zip
Contact information (email, telephone number)
Salutation (Dear Mr., Miss., Mrs., etc)
Body of letter
In this first sentence, summarize the purpose of your letter, why you are writing.
In the following paragraphs, explain the details of your letter in a concise manner, staying on subject. Use a professional, business tone in your letter.
In your closing paragraph, thank the recipient for their prompt attention to the matter.
Sincerely, Best Regards
Be certain to sign your name to your business letter, and make a copy for yourself. By writing your business letter in a professional tone and format, it will capture the attention of the recipient, which may mean you will get quicker results.