How to Format & Write a Formal Business Letter

By Billie •  Updated: 01/03/23 •  2 min read

Writing a business letter, also known as a formal letter, follows a specific format and style:

  1. Your address: Write your address in the top right corner of the page.
  2. The date: Write the date a few lines below your address.
  3. Recipient’s address: Write the recipient’s address a few lines below the date. If you don’t know the recipient’s address, you can use “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” as a salutation.
  4. Salutation: Begin the body of the letter with a formal salutation, such as “Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss [Last Name],” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
  5. Write the body of the letter: In the body of the letter, clearly state the purpose of your letter and any relevant information. Use proper grammar and spelling, and avoid using slang or colloquial language.
  6. Add a closing: End the letter with a closing such as “Sincerely,” “Yours faithfully,” or “Best regards,” followed by a comma.
  7. Add your signature: Sign your name a few lines below the closing. If you are typing the letter, you can skip the signature and type your name instead.
  8. Add your title: If you have a professional title, you can add it after your name. For example, “Sincerely, [Your Name], N.D.”
Image by https://ludwig.guru/blog/writing-formal-letters-in-english-the-ultimate-guide/

Here is an example of a formal letter:

[Your Address]

[Date]

[Recipient's Address]

Dear [Name]:

[Body of the letter]

Sincerely,

[4 spaces] [write your signature]

[Your Name]
[Your Title (optional)]

Formal Business Letter Example

This letter is formatted with left-aligned text for the sender and date. This is also acceptable.

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Billie

I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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