How to format a great business letter [+Template & Examples]

parts of a business letter
Created by CakeResume

Although technology has made it possible to get in touch with companies through emails and even social media, writing formal business letters is a skill you must master as an aspiring professional. 

Writing business letters is necessary because it is still a common way to deal with professional documentation. 

There are quite a few types of formal business letters you will find in your career, such as:

  • Cover letters
  • Welcome letters
  • Interview follow-up letters
  • Recommendation letters
  • Thank you letters
  • Letters of resignation
  • Termination letters, and so on

With so many types, it is okay to be confused about how to write a business letter; Nonetheless, you also need to use the proper formal letter format. It is not enough to be grammatical.

Parts of a Business Letter

There are different ways to arrange the layout of a formal letter; We recommend including at least the following parts of business letters.

🖋 Your Contact Information 

A vital part of the business letter format is to include all of your contact information; therefore, you should include the following details in your business letter heading:

  • Your full name (and your job title/company if you have one)
  • Your address (including city and Zipcode)
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address (optional)

🖋 The Date

Avoid using abbreviations when you write the date in a formal business letter. The date format should be: 

  • Month/Day/Year (for example, April 6, 2022)

🖋 The Recipient’s Contact Information 

The following section needs to include the information of the letter recipient, such as:

  • Their full name
  • Their job title/company
  • Their company’s address (including city and Zip code)
  • Their phone number

🖋 The Salutation

In this section, people who want to write formal letters need to think of a proper opening. You can try the following ways to start your formal business letter:

  • If you don’t know who to address the letter to: To whom it may concern
  • When you know who the recipient is: Dear Ms./Mrs./Mr. [the recipient’s last name]
  • If you and the recipient have a close relationship: Dear [the recipient’s first name]

🖋 The Body 

Another vital part of formatting letters is a great body. Just like when you write an article, a professional letter needs to have a proper introduction where you add a friendly salutation and then state the main point.

In another paragraph, you should cover the main point and add supporting details. Finally, add a closing paragraph to reiterate your purpose or restate your request. 

🖋 The Closing Salutation 

The next part of the business letter is writing a suitable closing salutation. You need to check whether it is fully formal or not. Here are some examples of business letter closing salutations:

For formal letters:

  • Respectfully yours,
  • In appreciation,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Cordially,
  • Sincerely,

For more casual letters:

  • Best regards,
  • Thank you for your time,
  • Kind regards,
  • Best,
  • Stay well, 

Make sure to consider the types of formal letters you are writing and choose a closing salutation that fits your formal business letter.

🖋 Your Signature

Every formal business letter needs to finish with your signature right below your closing salutation. Remember to leave enough space for your physical signature (or add a digital one). Finish by typing your full name and title. 

How to Format a Business Letter

Now that you know the parts of business letters, it’s time to talk about how to format a business letter. You have to consider many things, such as which layout to use or which font suits your formal business letter best. 

🎯 Choose a format that suits you. 

There are several ways to write a formal business letter. There are several styles and formats you can use, such as the block letter format, the modified block letter format, and the semi-block letter format. Here we tell you more about their differences for you to get familiar with different layouts of business letters.

  • Block Format

It is also known as the full block style. It is the most common style out there. How to write a block format business letter? You need to align all your text to the left when writing a block format business letter. Each line is single-spaced, and none of them is indented. 

Moreover, skip a line if you are writing a different paragraph (it will look like a double-spaced line). Do not forget to add all the parts of the business letter we mentioned above. Do not worry if you are still confused. We will provide you with a full block letter format example later in the article.

  • Modified Block Format

It is also known as the Indented form. The modified block letter format is another writing style. Similar to the full block letter format, your text should be left-justified and single-spaced. However, your contact information, the date, closing salutation, and signature are all either moved to the center or aligned to the right. 

There is, too, an example of a letter in modified block format later in the article.

  • Semi-Block Format

Not as commonly used as the others due to its being a bit less formal, the semi-block letter format is very similar to both the block letter format and the modified one. 

While the text is aligned to the left, you need to indent every paragraph. Additionally, for the layout of business letters in semi-block format, your contact information, the date, closing salutation, and signature should all be right-justified or aligned to the center. 

We also offer an example letter in semi-block format later in this article.

🎯 Pay attention to font style and size.

Besides using a professional letter format, you should consider which font style is appropriate. The font size can also help or hinder the letter’s readability. The acceptable standard size for formal letter headers is 12 points. 

When it comes to fonts in business letter writing, the commonly accepted ones are Arial and Times New Roman. However, you can also consider Helvetica, Open Sans, Calibri, Book Antiqua, and Georgia. 

🎯 Adjust spacing and margins.

Keep spacing in mind when you are doing the letterhead formatting. You need to leave enough space between the different parts of your letter (Your contact information, the receiver’s contact information, the content, and so on).

Additionally, it is recommended to use a single space for your text in a formal letter. Finally, a formal business letter format has a one-inch margin, the default margin size in most software.  

Business Letter Samples

We know it is a lot to digest, so we want to provide you with some examples of business letters that can give you a better idea of how to format a business letter.

✉️ Block Business Letter Format Example

Here we show a full-block letter format example. It is the most common style and a very formal one, too. 

Marcela Duarte | Marketing Manager

Abe’s Solutions 
1130 11th St, Miami Beach, FL, 33139
305-201-1888

April 7, 2022

Antony Roman | Sr. Project Manager

Patty’s Tech Solutions, Inc.
725 NE 166th St, Miami, FL, 33162
305-213-0626

Dear Mr. Roman,

It’s my pleasure to invite you to attend our corporate partner’s networking event on May 10, 2022. The event aims to strengthen our company’s business bond. We hope our collaborators can become part of our family and understand our corporate culture better.

We will hold the event at the Faena Hotel. We have scheduled it to last about two hours. If you are interested in participating, please send me your confirmation at your earliest convenience to reserve a place. 

Thank you for taking the time. I hope to hear from you soon. 

Cordially,
Marcela Duarte
Marketing Manager

✉️ Modified Block Business Letter Format Example

The following is an example of the modified block letter format. Notice the differences between it and other professional letter format styles:

Marcela Duarte | Marketing Manager

Abe’s Solutions 
1130 11th St, Miami Beach, FL, 33139
305-201-1888

April 7, 2022

Antony Roman | Human Resources Manager

Patty’s Tech Solutions, Inc.
725 NE 166th St, Miami, FL, 33162
305-213-0626

Dear Mr. Roman,

I want to express my gratitude to you for taking the time to review my application. I have been working at Abe’s Solutions for almost five years. I have learned many skills in this position, and I am ready to take on new challenges.

I am interested in the regional marketing manager position your company posted on LinkedIn yesterday. I can bring years of experience to contribute to your regional expansion.  I have read wonders about your company. I think I will fit with your corporate culture. 

Thank you once again for your time and effort. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Marcela Duarte
Marketing Manager

✉️ Semi-Block Business Letter Format Example

Finally, here is a semi-block letter format example. Remember that this style is the least formal of the three we presented. Check how we use it in this example of a business letter for students:

Marcela Duarte

1130 11th St, Miami Beach, FL, 33139
305-201-1888

April 7, 2022

Antony Roman

Business Department Deputy Rector
University of Miami
1320 S Dixie Hwy Coral Gables, FL, 33146
305-213-0626

Dear Antony,

           I hope you are doing great. Thank you for letting me know about the internship opening in your department. Throughout my four years at this university, you have always guided me. I appreciate all your support. 

           I wanted to inform you that the interview with the rector went perfectly. He also mentioned you recommended me for the position. Thank you so much. I am glad to tell you he accepted my application. I can’t wait to learn more from both of you. 

           I cannot thank you enough! I will see you next week.

Kind regards,
Marcela Duarte

Business Letter Template

While there are many business letter templates free online, we want to provide you with a business letter heading template that you can edit and use for your professional needs right here. This template follows the block letter format.

You can follow this pattern of formal letters but make sure to change the information in the brackets.

[Your full name]
[Your title]

[Your company’s name]
[Address]
[City, State, Zip code]
[Phone number]

[Date]

[The recipient’s full name]
[The recipient’s title]

[The recipient’s company’s name]
[Address]
[City, State, Zip code]
[Phone number]

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. [The recipient’s last name],

[Body] (Remember to at least add an introductory paragraph, an explanatory one, and a closing one.)

Respectfully yours/Sincerely /Cordially,

[Your full name]
[Your title]

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--- Originally written by Roger Rene Ortega Figueroa ---

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