Business Letters Definition

by Jacky Gamble; Updated September 26, 2017

Business letters are formal letters used for business-to-business, business-to-client, or client-to-business correspondence. There are a number of elements to a business letter.

Date & Sender's Address

The first line of a business letter should be the date the letter was written or completed. Directly underneath the date is the sender's address. Do not include the sender's name here. Sometimes the sender's address is listed on a letterhead, in which case the address should not be repeated under the date.

Recipient's Address

If known, the recipient's address should include the name of the person to whom the letter is directed. You should also include a title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr.) in front of the name. If you are including the country with the address, capitalize the country name.

Salutation

The salutation should be the same as the name written with the recipient's address, followed by a colon. It is fine to only use the first name if you personally know the person and you typically refer to her by her first name. If you do not know the recipient's name, it is fine to use the salutation, "To Whom it May Concern."

Body

The body of the letter should be formally written. Use single-spaced lines, except between paragraphs, where a double-spaced line should be inserted. The closing paragraph should summarize what was previously stated throughout the letter.

Closing

To close the letter, insert a phrase such as "Thank you" or "Best regards," followed by a comma. Insert four lines between the closing and sender's name. This space will be used for your signature once the letter is printed.

About the Author

Jacky Gamble has been a freelance writer since 2008, and has written articles for Internet publishing companies, Ancestry.org and Families.com. She is pursuing an Associate of Science in business administration.

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