Sending a business letter requires you to include the recipient's name, company name and address. But what do you do when sending a letter to someone who is only working at a company temporarily, or who is working remotely at another office or location?
When that happens, you want to address the letter “in care of” the person or company who regularly receives mail at the address.
You may need to send mail to someone who is working somewhere other than their usual business address. This is called sending mail “in care of” someone else, and is often abbreviated as c/o. Including c/o in an address tells the post office that the letter recipient is not normally at the delivery address.
For example, if you want to send a letter to a business associate who is working from a hotel in Paris, simply address the letter to the person in care of the hotel and include the hotel’s address. If the person is working at a branch of the main office, you would address the letter to the person in care of that office location.
Addressing an envelope in care of someone else is easy to do and basically just requires adding an extra line to the address. To do an in care of address, make sure you have the correct address where your business associate currently receives mail. Write the recipient’s name on the first line near the middle of the front of the envelope. If you are mailing the letter to an office, add the recipient’s title to help make sure it gets to the correct department.
Write “c/o” on the next line, followed by the name of the person or company who regularly receives mail at this address. For example, “c/o XYZ Company.”
Write the complete street address on the next line. Include the number and street name. Don’t forget cardinal directions and other words associated with the street name. For example, W. Main St. Write the city, state and zip code on the next line. Use postal abbreviations for the state – two capital letters only. If you are mailing to another country, don’t forget to include the name of the country you are mailing to on the last line.
Place your name and return address in the upper-left corner of the envelope. If you are mailing to another country, include “USA” on the last line of the return address. Always include a return address so if you have the wrong in care of address, the letter can get returned to you.
How to address a business letter “in care of” follows a format similar to addressing any other type of letter. Here are examples of how to address “in care of”:
c/o ABC Company
123 Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90034
c/o The Monsieur Hotel
23 Rue Paris
75002 Paris, France
As with any letter, make sure you write the recipient’s information legibly to ensure it gets delivered to the correct place.