How to End a Business Letter

by Ruth Mayhew - Updated July 23, 2018
Business letters should follow a specific format and be written in a professional manner.

The way you end a business letter does more than demonstrate you know how to use the proper business signature for your correspondence. It can set the tone for future interaction with the reader. Whether you are writing a thank-you note to convince a hiring manager that you are the candidate best suited for the position or writing to request a refund for a subscription that you forgot to cancel before the trial period expired, there are a number of ways to end a letter. Ending your business correspondence the right way can determine the outcome.

Business Correspondence

Written communication to state your position in a business matter can range from a letter introducing your skills and qualifications to a potential employer to proposing a resolution or settlement of a financial matter. Business correspondence typically is formal communication which requires a formal ending and closing salutation. What's important is that the end of the business letter isn't just the words you use directly above your signature. When you are deciding how to end your business letter, it starts with the final paragraph or the last few sentences of your letter. Consider how you should present your final thoughts and the tone you should use. Depending on the subject matter, there are several ways to end your letter before you even think about the business letter signature or the closing salutation.

Positive Ending

Always use the final paragraph to reiterate your position, and keep it positive. If you're writing to a prospective employer, your final paragraph could restate your interest in the company and in scheduling a personal interview. For example, you could write, "Thank you for considering me for the accounting department position. I look forward to a personal interview to discuss my qualifications and how I can best serve your department needs." If you're writing to suggest a resolution to a business matter, your final paragraph could restate that you're open to negotiation and seek a mutually beneficial outcome, such as, "I appreciate you considering the options that I presented above to resolve this matter. I am certainly open to negotiating a win-win resolution, and look forward to our conversation."

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Closing Salutations

Using closing salutations like "Yours truly," "Regards" or "Sincerely" are generally the ones people use to end a business a letter and sign it. A closing salutation like "Cheers" or "Ciao" are for closing a letter to friends. "Warm regards" and "Kind regards" are suitable for closing salutations if you have a connection to the reader that extends beyond a business relationship. "Best regards" is a professional sign-off and is less personal than using the words "warm" or "kind."

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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