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8 Essential Steps to Writing a Business Letter in English

Business Letter Format

❶Use the active voice.

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Letter Writing & Sample Letters
2. Write a short outline
How to Write Formal Letters

To write a business letter, start by putting your company's name and address on the top left-hand side of the page. Then, put the date below that, followed by the recipient's name, job title, and address. At the bottom of the business letter, include your name, job title, and contact information so the recipient can get back to you. Also, make sure you're using a professional font like Arial or Times New Roman to write your letter.

Sample Business Letter About Meeting. Whatever the content of your letter, there are a few business standards to follow regarding the way it looks.

Business letters should be typed and composed in a common font such as Arial or Times New Roman. This means that you start a new paragraph by hitting "return" twice. An emailed business letter should also be composed in a common font. Don't use script or colors other than black and white in a business email. Choose the right kind of paper. The letter should be printed on 8. If you are outside the U. Some lengthy contracts may be printed on 8.

If you're printing the letter to send, consider printing the letter on company letterhead. This lends it a more professional air and provides your company's logo and contact information. Include information about your company. List your company name and the company address, with each part of the address written on a different line. If you're self-employed or an independent contractor, add your name either in place of the company name or above it.

If your company has pre-designed letterhead, you can use this instead of typing out your company and address. If you're typing out the address, it should appear either right or left justified at the top of the page, depending on you and your company's preference. Writing out the full date is the most professional choice. For example, write either "April 1, " or "1 April If you wrote your letter over several days, use the date that you finished the letter.

Add the recipient's information. Write out the recipient's full name, title if applicable , company name, and address in that order, with each piece of information on a separate line. If necessary, include a reference number. The recipient's information should be left justified a few lines below the date.

It is best to address the letter to a specific person. This way, an actual person will be able to respond to your letter. The salutation is an important indicator of respect, and which one you use will depend on whether you know the person to whom you're writing, how well you know them and the level of formality in your relationship.

You may also use the recipient's title and last name, e. Part 1 Quiz In a best case scenario, who should you address your business letter to? To the company at large. To a specific person. Strike the right tone. Time is money, as the saying goes, and most business people hate to waste time. The tone of your letter, therefore, should be brief and professional. Make your letter a quick read by diving straight into the matter and keeping your comments brief in the first paragraph.

For instance, you can always start with "I am writing you regarding Don't concern yourself with flowery transitions, big words, or lengthy, meandering sentences - your intent should be to communicate what needs to be said as quickly and cleanly as possible. Be persuasive in your letter. Most likely the purpose of your letter is to persuade your reader to do something: Write clearly and concisely.

Let your reader know exactly what you are trying to say. Your reader will only respond quickly if your meaning is crystal clear. In particular, if there is some result or action you want taken because of your letter, state what it is. Explain your position in as few words as possible. Use the active voice. When describing a situation or making a request, make sure to choose the active voice, rather than the passive voice.

The passive voice can make your writing ambiguous or impersonal. In addition, the active voice is more streamlined and straight to the point. The sunglasses are not designed or manufactured with attention to their durability. Your company designs and manufactures sunglasses without attention to their durability.

Be conversational when appropriate. Letters are written by people to people. Avoid form letters if possible. You cannot build a relationship with canned impersonal letters. However, stay away from colloquial language or slang such as "you know," "I mean," or "wanna. If you know the recipient well, it's fine to include a friendly line sending good wishes.

Use your judgement when determining how much personality to reveal. Sometimes adding a little humor is actually helpful in a business setting, but err on the side of caution before making a joke. Even if you are writing with a complaint or concern, you can be courteous. Consider the recipient's position and offer to do whatever you can, within reason, to be accommodating and helpful.

For example, a discourteous complaint might read: Most business letters should be concise enough to be one page in length only. But if you have something lengthier, such as a contract or legal findings, you may need additional pages. Include the page number on the second and subsequent pages, at the top of the page. In the last paragraph, summarize your points and clearly outline either your planned course of action or what you expect from the recipient.

Part 2 Quiz Why should you avoid writing your letter in passive voice? It is not formal enough. So you can use personal pronouns. To make your writing sound more personal. Passive voice is rude. The closing, like the salutation, is an indicator of respect and formality. Leave about four lines empty for your signature. Sign the letter after you've printed it, or, if you're sending it via email, scan an image of your signature and affix it to this part of the letter.

Blue or black ink is preferred. Include your typed name and contact information. Beneath your signature, type your name, title, phone number, email address and any other applicable means of contact. Give each piece of information its own line. Then it is clear who worked on this letter. Some styles add a slash between the two sets of initials: Make note of enclosures.

If you've enclosed additional documents for the recipient to review, note this a few lines beneath your contact info by noting the number and type of documents. If you are sending a copy of the letter to another person, you should include this on the letter. The letter is signed on a company's behalf. Those are the typist's initials. They are 1 of the writers.

They are cc'd in the correspondence. Presentation is a key element of being professional. Make sure that the recipient will easily be able to see you as capable and in charge by editing your letter for errors. Run spell check on your word processor, but also give the letter a thorough read before you send it. Ask yourself whether the letter is clear and concise. Are any paragraphs more than three or four sentences long?

If so, determine whether you can eliminate unnecessary statements. If the letter is extremely important, you might want to have a friend or colleague look it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can help you catch errors or awkward wording you may not have noticed. If you have multiple pages, staples are generally avoided. If you want to ensure that the papers stay in order, then use a paperclip at the top left corner.

If you're sending the letter via post, use a business envelope. If available, use one with the company logo printed on it. Neatly print your return address and the recipient's address. Fold the letter into third parts, such that the recipient will first unfold the top flap, then the bottom flap. Make sure you affix sufficient postage, and send it off. If you feel like your handwriting is messy and doesn't match your professional persona, type the addresses in your word processor and run the envelope through your printer.

It is better, however, to send the physical letter. Part 4 Quiz True or False: It is better to send your letter in PDF form via email. I am working with kids and I love my job. I work with kids and I love my job. We use the present continuous with temporary actions. I have read your cover letter when you sent it.

I read your cover letter when you sent it. I have read your cover letter and would like to follow up with you. We use the present perfect for actions that happened in the past and still have an impact on the present. We use the past for actions that happened in the past, when the speaker knows when they happened. Our profits are lower then last year. Our profits are lower than last year.

We analyzed your request and then we contacted you. We use than to form comparisons and then to refer to when something happened. Do not worry if this seems challenging.

English grammar is complex, and even native English speakers have difficulty with grammar sometimes. To ensure that your business writing is free from grammar mistakes, you may want to use Grammarly. This is a grammar-checking tool that will highlight mistakes and suggest corrections for you. If you are going to be sending out very important business letters, then it is worthwhile to invest in professional proofreading services. After all, you want your writing to be perfect when you are sending a business letter to your entire company, to a potential employer or to your most valuable clients.

Just be sure to give them the secret password: It is so difficult to focus on different types of mistakes all at once—spelling, grammar and punctuation. So try to make time to proofread your letter a separate time for punctuation mistakes.

We tried emailing them , but there was no reply. If you are not sure whether to use a comma or not, try splitting the sentence into smaller bits: We tried emailing them. There was no reply. If you are still not sure, try saying the sentence out loud. If you are pausing a little, you should probably use a comma. I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product!

I was extremely upset when I received a faulty product. Exclamation marks and emoticons make your writing rather informal, so you should avoid them when writing business letters. When typing, we only use one space after commas or periods and no space before them. Leave formatting for the end; it is less time consuming. Most business letters use a block format, and are left-justified and single-spaced.

You should use double spacing between paragraphs to make it clear where a paragraph ends and where another one begins. The most common font is Times New Roman 12, but Arial also works just fine. For those of you who are very dedicated to improving your English writing skills, we recommend that you go take a look at the courses and books by Inklyo. These have been designed to teach English students how to improve their writing, and they might be just what you need to keep moving forward!

Whenever you are in doubt, have another look at the eight steps above, and keep on writing! If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.

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We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in. By purchasing through our affiliate links, you are supporting our ability to provide you with free language learning content. Interested in sharing your language learning resource with our audience? In the 21 st century? Well, business people actually write and read business letters all the time.

1. Decide what type of letter you need to write

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Ah, business letter format-there are block formats, and indented formats, and modified block formats and who knows what others. To simplify matters, we're demonstrating the block format on this page, one of the two most common formats.

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Business letter and email message examples for a variety of work and business-related correspondence, and tips for writing effective professional letters.

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Knowing how to write business letters is an essential skill so here are several more articles for you: Start with the basics on how to write a business letter using a general format and review various business letter templates. What this handout is about This handout will help you write business letters required in many different situations, from applying for a job to requesting or delivering information. While the examples that are discussed specifically are the application letter .

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How to write a business letter. Always consider your audience when preparing a business letter. Do not say something in a letter that you would not say to the person in a face-to-face situation, and do not put in writing anything that might later embarrass you or your company, commit you or your company to something that you might not be . Need help writing an effective business letter? Visit our Small Business Information for resources and sample business letters to get you started.