Different Parts of a Business Letter

by Pauline Gill; Updated September 26, 2017
Different Parts of a Business Letter

The business letter is a formal letter that has six specific parts. It is important to understand the format of a business letter, so the receiver reads it and takes it seriously. Once you understand the six parts of a business letter, writing one is quick and easy.

Heading

The heading includes the return address and the date of the letter. Some people include email addresses or fax numbers in the return address.

Inside Address

The inside address is where the letter is being sent. Skip a line after the heading before entering the inside address. Include a title or name, if available.

Greeting

The greeting is a formal salutation. It begins with the word "Dear" and includes the person's last name or a title, if the name is unavailable. End the greeting with a colon. Leave an extra line between the inside address and the greeting.

Body

The body is the message of the letter. Skip a line after the greeting before starting the body. Keep the body of the letter short and to the point.

Closing

The closing word is usually "Sincerely" followed by a comma. Line up the closing with the heading of the letter. In block style, this would be on the left side. Skip a line after the body before entering the closing.

Signature

Skip two to four lines after the closing and type the name of the sender. The two to four lines allows for the sender's signature. A second line includes the sender's title.

Resources

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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