Definition of business letter

Date & Sender’s Address

  • The first line of a business letter should be the date the letter was written or completed. Directly underneath the date is the sender’s address. Do not include the sender’s name here. Sometimes the sender’s address is listed on a letterhead, in which case the address should not be repeated under the date.

Recipient’s Address

  • If known, the recipient’s address should include the name of the person to whom the letter is directed. You should also include a title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr.) in front of the name. If you are including the country with the address, capitalize the country name.


  • The salutation should be the same as the name written with the recipient’s address, followed by a colon. It is fine to only use the first name if you personally know the person and you typically refer to her by her first name. If you do not know the recipient’s name, it is fine to use the salutation, “To Whom it May Concern.”


  • The body of the letter should be formally written. Use single-spaced lines, except between paragraphs, where a double-spaced line should be inserted. The closing paragraph should summarize what was previously stated throughout the letter.


  • To close the letter, insert a phrase such as “Thank you” or “Best regards,” followed by a comma. Insert four lines between the closing and sender’s name. This space will be used for your signature once the letter is printed.

Types of business letter

Letter of Complaint

  • A letter of complaint will almost certainly result in an official response if you approach it from a businesslike perspective. Make the complaint brief, to the point and polite. Politeness pays off regardless of the extent of anger you are actually feeling while composing this type of business letter.

Resume Cover Letter

  • A cover letter that accompanies a resume should revel in its brevity. You should take as little time and as few words as possible to accomplish one task: persuading the reader to anticipate reading your resume. Mention the title of the job for which you are applying, as well or one or two of your strongest selling points.

Letter of Recommendation

  • A recommendation letter allows you to use a few well-chosen words to the effect of letting someone else know how highly you value a third party. Resist the temptation to go overboard; approach your recommendation in a straightforward manner that still allows you to get the point across.

Letter of Resignation

  • An official letter of resignation is a business letter that should be fair and tactful. Be wary of burning any bridges that you may need to cross again in the future. Offer a valid reason for your resignation and avoid self-praise.

Job Applicant Not Hired

  • In some cases you may be required to write a business letter that informs a job applicant that he was not chosen for an open position. Offer an opening note of thanks for his time, compliment him on his experience or education and explain that he was just not what the company is looking for at the present time.

Declining Dinner Invitation

  • Declining a dinner invitation is a topic for a business letter that, if not done tactfully, may result in a social disadvantage. Extend your appreciation for the invitation and mention that you already have an engagement for that date. Do not go into detail about what the engagement is.

Reception of Gift

  • It is very polite to return a formal business response letting someone know that you have received her gift. Extend a personalized thanks to let her know that you are exactly aware of the contents of the gift. If possible, it is a good idea to include a sentiment suggesting that you have put the gift to use.

Notification of Error

  • When sending a business letter that lets the receiving party know that an error has been corrected, it is good business sense to include a copy of the error in question if there is paperwork evidence of it. Make the offer of additional copies of material involved in the error if necessary.

Thanks for Job Recommendation

  • A letter of thanks for a party that helped you get a job should be professional and courteous. Above all else, avoid the temptation to go overboard in offering your thanks. Be aware that your skills also helped you land the job and it was likely not handed to you as a result of the third party.

Information Request

  • A business letter that requests information should make the request specific and perfectly understandable. It is also a good idea to state the reason for the information request. Extend advance appreciation for the expected cooperation of the recipient.

Parts of bussines letter


Letterhead or Sender’s Address

  • Many companies have an established letterhead on all company correspondence with the company logo. If your company does not have a letterhead, include the sender’s address just below the date.


  • Include the date you write or mail the letter. Place the date just below the letterhead or above the sender’s address if no letterhead is used.

Inside Address

  • Include the name, address and the title of the person you are writing to, along with the address. If you do not know the person’s title, typing Ms. or Mr. is appropriate.


  • A reference line is optional. If it is essential that the reader know from the beginning what the topic is, then you should include. If you include a reference, precede it with “Re:” and place it one line before the salutation


  • This is the opening greeting of your letter and first and best chance to make a good impression on your reader. Unless you are a close associate of the recipient, it is not appropriate to address him or her by his or her first name. This flags your letter as unprofessional. Typing, “Dear” and then Mr. or Ms. and last name are always professional sounding openings.


  • Clearly state your message. Avoid unnecessary words. Your goal is to write a concise letter that is informative and professional. Maintain a civil and friendly tone, even if you have a negative message to deliver. Your tone has much to do with how your reader will respond. Make sure you make appropriate paragraph breaks. Each new subject should begin a new paragraph. It is a common practice to include as a last paragraph a call to action. This is an instruction to the recipient about any response you expect. You leave this as your final thought.

Styles of bussines letter


The Styles of Business Letters (Layouts of Business Letters) have undergone changes over the period of time. In the old times, the style was followed strictly. But recently liberty has been given to the business people to follow their own styles. Although no room was allowed for deviation form the standard form an effective letter during old days, the letters written then was more effective. There are still many business houses which use the old layout. But things have become much easier and business people have taken liberty in their approach towards adopting the layout of their business letters.

Fully-Blocked Style, Modified Block Style and Simplified Style are widely used these days among the business houses. Fully-Indented Style, Semi-Indented Style and Hanging-Indented Style are not extensively used. But all can be used by all. There is no restriction in using one style over others. It is only you who should decide which should be the best for you to bring the desired results.  Usually the business letters are written on the letter head of the company. In case you have to write your letter in a white paper, please write your address before you start writing your letter. There are few people who suggest writing the sender’s address just below the date. This is also acceptable. There is not strict rule to suggest what is best for you. Let your sense of business judgment rule.

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