A business letter is a formal communication between organizations, companies, their employees, shareholders, investor, customers, and other parties. The letter should adopt a specific format and formal language. The style and the tone of the letter depend on the relationship between the two parties.
What to include in a business letter
- Typically the letter should be short and precise
- In your first paragraph, start by introducing the purpose of the letter
- Share more details about the subject in the subsequent paragraphs
- Close the letter by restating the theme of the letter
- Finally, thank the recipient and share information on any follow-up plans
Business letter format
A standard business letter should follow the following format.
Date: start your letter with the date. Use month, day, and year format.
Sender’s Address: Indicate your address, including your email and phone number. If this information is available in your letterhead, you should not repeat it in this section.
Inside Address: This is the address of the recipient. If you know the name of the recipient, include it in the address.
Subject: This short statement that cites the reason for writing the letter. It should be brief, catchy, and easy to understand.
Salutation: You can use the words dear, most respected, respected, or just the usual sir/madam. If you know the name of the recipient, include it after the title. For example, Dear Mr. / Ms. / [name of the person]. If you don’t know the name of the recipient, you can address the letter in this way “To Whom It May Concern.”
The Body Paragraphs
This part contains the main message of the letter; since it’s the main part of the letter, it should be clear and easy to understand. This section features several paragraphs.
Opening Paragraph: This section introduces the writer and the reason for writing the letter. It also contains any past correspondence.
Main paragraph: This paragraph shares the “meat” of the message. It shares details of the letter. It should be concise, simple, and complete.
Closing Paragraph: This section includes any action that needs to be taken, expectations of the sender, and courteous words such as thanking the recipients, etc. for example you can use the words: I look forward to…., Thanking your for…., looking forward to hearing from you soon, etc. you may also include a call to action in this last paragraph.
The Complimentary Close
This is a polite way of ending the business letter, and it’s in accordance with the salutation. Typical closings used in business letters include: Sincerely, Yours faithfully, yours sincerely, Regards, Best regards, Thanks, Thank you, etc.
Signature &writer’s identification
In the last part of the business letter, you should include your name, signature, and designation. The signature should be handwritten immediately above the sender’s name.
Lastly, if you have enclosed documents alongside the letter, you should list them in this section. Such documents may include your resume, recipients, vouchers, etc.
Sample business letter
December 5, 2022
234 Blair’s Ave
Chicago, IL, 90611
Dear Mr. Anderson,
I write this letter with deep regrets to inform you of the impending termination of your contract with Sysdex technologies effective Thursday, December 16, 2019.
As you are aware, we have been undergoing a restricting program in the past two months to cut costs and improve efficiency. In this regard, the management has decided to eliminate temporary& contract positions.
This decision has nothing to do with the performance of the employees. Unfortunately, we have no option, but to take this decision, it an indication of the hard times the company has been going through economically in the last five years.
You will receive all your dues according to the contract. We appreciate your dedication to the company, and we wish you the best in your future. Given your commitment to work, your experience, and character, we are confident that you will land another position soon. We will also serve you with a recommendation letter to help you in your job search.
Human Resources Manager