When you write a business letter in business letter format, the paragraphs and all other information are aligned to one side. In a business letter, there is nothing personal included in the content, including emotions or personal preferences. The tricky part of writing in a business letter format is to make it look and sound professional.
What Is a Business Letter?
A business letter is a formal document that business individuals use to communicate with each other. The content is all about business and contains no personal content whatsoever.
These letters are sent from one business to another, a business to specific individuals like customers, clients, employees, shareholders or government officials, etc. There is even a specific set of fonts that are considered business fonts. These fonts should be used if you want your letter to look professional.
Also, you have to make sure your margins are correct before you start typing. Business letters are used for writing references, making job offers, changes in the company policies, etc.
Essential Elements of a Business Letter
Whenever you write a business letter, you need to structure it in the correct format and include those essential elements, or your letter may not be well received or taken seriously. Here are some of those essentials:
- Header – with your contact information
- Date – when you wrote the letter
- Recipient’s contact information
- Salutation – using ‘Dear’ is okay as is ‘To Whom It May Concern’
- The body of the letter- this is where you place the purpose, the details, and other important business information
- Closing – ‘Sincerely’ works best here as you want every part of the letter to be business-like.
- Your signature – a 4 line space should be used between the closing and your printed name to make room for your signature
How to Format a Business Letter
- Select the font- this needs to be professional-looking, and the font size should be between 10 and 12 points. Here are some professional font styles you can use– Arial, Avenir, Calibri, Corbel, Garamond, Georgia, Gill Sans, Helvetica, Open Sans, Roboto, Times New Roman.
- Print your contact information- Name, title, company name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
- Write the date- this comes between yours and the recipient’s contact information
- Print the recipient’s contact information- it should have the same look as your contact information
- Salutation- the most common word used here is ‘Dear’ and the last name. You can include their title, for example ‘Dr.’, ‘Ms.’ and so on.
- The body of the letter- there is no size limit as you have to include all pertinent details the letter is about. You can go short, or you can go for 2 or 3 pages. It will all depend. The key here is that there is no indentation.
- Include a business salutation- the most common one used is ‘Sincerely,’ but you can use ‘Regards’, ‘Cordially’ and similar business-like terms.
- Enclosures- this is added after your signature, letting the recipient know that there are more documents included in the envelope. You can make a list of those documents, which include a resume, reference sheet, transcripts, and so on. The key is to make sure you enclose those documents before sealing the envelope.
Tip: Every item in this letter format is placed on the left side of the page. There is no indentation or other formatting to be done. There is no centering, right margin, or justifying. It is all left side margin only.
Sample Business Letter Format
Dr. Mark Stone
123 St. Peter’s Way
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90210
June 20th, 2021
Over the Top medical Supplies
456 Club House Lane
San Diego, Ca., 99875
Dear Mr. Meyer,
In regards to the information you sent us concerning a new MRI machine, I and my hospital would like you to send us the specs and the cost information as soon as possible.
We would like a chance to go over all the figures before our meeting next month. We do look forward to seeing your presentation and hope that we can come to a mutual agreement.
Dr. M. Stone
Head of Radiology
Business Letter Formats
Some Final Thoughts
When writing a Business letter, all you have to do is put the information in a coherent and clear order so that the content is easily understood. The key is to get the formatting right so your content and you are taken seriously by the recipient.