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How to Write a Formal Business Letter

Why do you need to learn how to write a formal business letter? Do you know how to write a formal business letter? If no, then this article is for you.

How you present your business through a letter speaks volumes about your company. Formatting and constructing your letter is one of the most important pieces of business correspondence. Every day in business, we write at least one business letter or the other; from letter of employment, letter of intent and resignation letter to reference letters. In this article, we will teach you the right formats of indicating what goes where instead of providing the usual sample memos and letters. Without wasting your time, here are seven tips on how to write a formal business letter.

How to Write a Formal Business Letter – Sample Format Template

1.  Use indented paragraph. Although this format is deemed old-fashioned, indented paragraph still remains as the standard paragraph in writing a formal business letter. You can also use non-indented or “flush” paragraph in writing your letter. Just make sure the content is clear.

2.  Don’t forget your salutation. Given the formality of writing a letter to, let’s say, a big-time company, it is often acceptable to use the first name of the owner. But if you don’t know the owner’s name, use “Mr.”, “Ms.”, “Ma’am” or “Sir” plus the surname. Another way to address the owner (or any specific individual representing the business) is by using “Dear Sir” or “Dear Ma’am”.

3.  Use a proportionate font. If you are using justified right margins for example, use Times New Roman or Courier New. A proportionate font adjusts the spacing between the letters in a single word or sentence automatically. Use it to avoid wide spaces between the words/sentences you are writing.

4.  Your recipient’s name and address should be placed at the left-hand corner. If you are using a window envelope, both should be aligned in the middle. Why putting the address is important in a business letter? Take note that letters can be separated from its envelopes, most especially if the business has many departments. Hence, if you are writing a formal business letter to a specific person, don’t use the main address. Indicate the department where you are going to address your letter.

5.  Always keep your reader in mind. DO NOT use any business jargon when you are writing. Place yourself in the shoes of your reader. Is he/she the type who values formality? If so, use appropriate words or sentences. Keep the entire thing as short yet straightforward as possible.

6.  Handwriting your letter is a big no! Nonetheless, you can hand write additional notes in a slip attached to the letter.

7.  Check your spelling and proofread. As much as possible, ask someone from the company to go through your letter first. If that person didn’t saw any errors in spelling, grammar or choice of words, you can submit your business letter right away!  Getting the right format in writing a formal business letter reflects your relationship with the company, so it’s very important to take note of these tips.

Written by Ajaero Tony Martins

Ajaero Tony Martins

Ajaero Tony Martins is a serial entrepreneur and investor with several successful companies in his portfolio. He does business in one of the world’s toughest environment and has an audacious goal to become a billionaire in his life time. You can click here to read his full bio.


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