The Structure of a Business Letter and How To Write One

Structure of business letters

Common types of business letters

A business letter can be used for a range of formal communication needs. Think about some of the most typical formats for business letters you might see:

What is a business letter?

A business letter is a formal letter that is frequently sent from one company to another, from one company to a client, or from one client to another. Particularly when sent via physical mail rather than digitally through email, these letters typically adhere to a standard format and are written on company letterhead.

Components of a business letter

While providing the recipient with different information, each of these business letter types typically adheres to a similar format and contains the same essential elements. Any type of business letter should include the following components:

How to write a business letter

When using the required business letter components and adhering to the recommended format, you can create an effective business letter. To write an organized and formal business letter, adhere to the steps below:

1. Determine the recipient

Begin by establishing who youre sending the letter to. Find the hiring manager’s name and business address, for instance, if you’re applying for a job, so you know who to write to before you start.

2. Establish your purpose

Know why youre writing the letter. The goal of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and provide information about why they should hire you for the position. Make a list of the details you want to include in your letter to support your purpose, or outline them.

3. Format your letter

Format your letter to reflect the standard business structure. Include your address, the date, and the recipients’ address after you. Then, add a formal salutation. Consider a salutation like, “Dear Ms.,” using the cover letter example as a guide. Johns,” to open your letter.

4. Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself to the reader and state your purpose for writing in the opening paragraph of your letter. Depending on the subject, the first paragraph of a business letter will typically range in length from one or two sentences to four or five.

5. Include details

Give specifics about your purpose for writing in the paragraph or paragraphs that make up the body of your letter. Using the cover letter as an example, this is where you would give instances of your accomplishments and successes in previous positions.

6. Close effectively

Include a concluding paragraph that restates your letter’s main points. Include a clear call to action if you’re looking for a response so the reader knows what to do once they’ve finished reading.

7. Use a complimentary closing

Add your closing and signature. When concluding your letter, use a formal phrase like “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” Include your signature below your sign off.

8. Proofread and edit

Give your letter a proofread before printing and signing it. Make sure all the words are spelled correctly and that you have adhered to all the grammatical rules. Double-check the recipients name and address for accuracy. Make any edits or corrections as needed.

9. Enclose additional documents

List any additional documents you’re including after the heading for the enclosures. You typically include your resume and a list of references with a cover letter.

Examples of business letters

Use the following examples to better understand the format and structure of business letters:

Sales letter example

An illustration of a sales letter from one business to another is as follows:

Cover letter example

Here is an example of a cover letter that a candidate might send to a potential employer:

Letter of resignation example

This is an illustration of a resignation letter that an employee would submit to their employer:


What is structure of a business letter?

Introduction: The letter’s opening sentence informs the recipient of the correspondence’s goal. Body: Details about the subject or purpose of the letter are provided in the body paragraph or paragraphs. Statement of conclusion: The letter’s final paragraph encapsulates and completes its argument.

What are the 7 parts of a business letter?

Experts generally agree that there are seven basic parts in a formal business letter:
  • Sender’s address. Optimally, you’ll want to have a printed company letterhead.
  • Date. The date the letter was written must be known to the recipient.
  • Recipient’s address. …
  • Salutation. …
  • Body. …
  • Closing/signature. …
  • Enclosures.

What is structure of a letter?

Formal and informal letter formats include an introduction that states your purpose for writing the letter in full. A main body in which the subject is developed. Begin a new paragraph for each main point. A concluding paragraph in which you summarize the subject or make a suggestion

What are the 12 parts of a business letter?

There are 12 Parts of Business Letter
  • The Heading or Letterhead.
  • Date.
  • Reference.
  • The Inside Address.
  • Subject.
  • Greeting.
  • Body Paragraphs.
  • Complimentary Close.

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