How to Write a Formal Business Letter

In this article, we will learn how to write a formal business letter. There are 8 different elements in which a formal business letter is divided. We will go through each element step-by-step and will learn the most common phrases that we can use. In the end, we will see a sample letter to see the placement of each element.

To keep things simple, we will not worry about American or British formats.

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So let us get started with the list of elements:

1. Sender’s Data

We will place the sender’s data in the upper left corner. It usually contains the following data:

– Company name

– Address

– Contact number

– Email address

2. Date

Below the sender’s data is the date of the letter. The format of the date is like this:

Month in words + Day in numbers + Year in numbers

For example, November 15, 2019

3. Recipient’s Data

Under the date, we write the recipient’s data. This data contains the following information:

– Name of the person

– Designation of the person

– Company name

– Company Address

– Contact number

4. Salutation

Under the recipient’s data, we greet the recipient with a short courtesy phrase. Some examples of such phrases are:

– Dear Sir,

– Dear Madam,

– Sir,

– Madam,

– Dear Mr. Doe,

– Dear Mrs. Doe,

The usage of the courtesy abbreviations is as follows:

– Mr. for single and married men

– Mrs. for married women

– Ms. for women with unknown marital status

– Miss for single women

5. Introduction

In the paragraph, we will give an overview of the subject of the letter. We will not mention the details in the introduction; only a brief overview is enough.

6. Body

We define, in detail, the subject of the letter in these paragraphs. And the following are some points that we will keep in mind while writing the body of the letter:

– After providing the information, you may also want to define what actions the recipient is supposed to take.

– Make sure not to complicate the body too much.

– The clarity in the body will help the recipient understand your message properly.

– As this is a formal business, we will not be using contractions or short forms like ‘I’ve’, ‘Won’t’ etc.

7. Farewell

Great, we have completed writing the body and now it is time to write some concluding farewell phrases. Here, the key is politeness and courtesy. Following are some of the most commonly used farewell phrases:

– Thank you for your help

– I look forward to hearing from you

– Please, feel free to contact me if you have any questions

– Yours faithfully

– Sincerely yours

– Regards or Kind regards or Best regards

8. Signature

We end the letter by writing the signature of the sender. The signature usually has the following information:

– Sender’s name

– Sender’s designation

– Contact number

– Email address

By following these 8 steps, we can write a formal business letter with ease. Here is a sample letter for you to study:

Sample Formal Business Letter

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