A Guide On How To Format A Formal Business Letter

A Guide On How To Format A Formal Business Letter

In the digital age, where emails and instant messaging dominate communication, the art of composing a formal business letter remains a valuable skill. Whether you’re sending a letter of inquiry, submitting a proposal, or corresponding with clients, mastering the proper format is essential. In this guide, we will walk you through the key elements and etiquette of formatting a formal business letter.

1. Heading and Your Contact Information

Begin your business letter with your contact information at the top of the page. Include your full name, your job title (if applicable), your address, phone number, and email address. This information establishes your identity and makes it easy for the recipient to respond.

Your Name
Your Title (if applicable)
Your Company (if applicable)
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

2. Date

Add the date on which you are writing the letter. The date should be placed two lines below your contact information and aligned with the left margin.

Date: Month Day, Year

3. Recipient’s Contact Information

Include the recipient’s name, title, company, and address. If you know the recipient’s name, it’s more courteous to address them directly. If not, a general salutation such as “To Whom It May Concern” can be used.

Recipient's Name
Recipient's Title
Company Name
Company Address
City, State, Zip Code

4. Salutation

Begin the body of your letter with a formal salutation. If you know the recipient’s name, use “Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name.” If the gender is unclear, you can use a more general salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

5. Body of the Letter

Compose the body of your letter, keeping it concise and focused on the purpose of your correspondence. Use paragraphs for clarity and readability. Be sure to maintain a professional tone throughout.

6. Closing

Conclude your letter with a polite closing. Common options include “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” or “Best regards.” Place a comma after your closing and leave four lines for your signature.


7. Signature

Sign the letter in the space above your typed name. If you are sending a hard copy, this is where you would physically sign the letter. If it’s an email or a digital document, you can use a scanned signature or simply type your name.

Your Typed Name (Signature)
Your Job Title (if applicable)

8. Enclosures and CC (if applicable)

If you are enclosing additional documents or copying others on the letter, mention it at the end.

Enclosures: [List of Enclosed Documents]
CC: [Names of Additional Recipients]


Mastering the art of formatting a formal business letter is an essential skill in the professional world. Following these guidelines ensures that your correspondence is polished, organized, and conveys a sense of professionalism. Whether you’re communicating with clients, colleagues, or prospective employers, a well-formatted business letter sets the tone for a positive and effective exchange.

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Nam Le Thanh

I am Nam Le Thanh, an international web design freelancer and the owner of Work Whale, a job board platform aimed at connecting talents with meaningful opportunities. With a career spanning several years, I have had the privilege of collaborating with renowned brands both domestically and internationally. My passion lies in creating high-class, artistic designs that prioritize user experience. Through projects like Work Whale, I strive to contribute to the community and support others.

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