If a business associate or client owes you money, it's time to request reimbursement. Whether you send the letter via email or regular postal mail, the process is the same. Adopt a businesslike but friendly tone and be specific and concise.
Get Straight to the Point
Write a salutation that suits your relationship. Address the person who owes you money by his first name only if this is the norm of your relationship. Otherwise, use “Mr.” or “Ms.” in the salutation. Open your letter with a clear statement of purpose. For example, you might say that you're “writing to request reimbursement in the amount of $1,000 for office supplies purchased on August 15." If the reimbursement is overdue, kindly point out this fact – “This payment was due on Sept. 10” – and refer to your original invoice or letter and its date. If your business policy is to assess a late fee, remind the recipient of this policy. In the interest of fairness, make certain that your original invoice or letter spelled out your late payment terms. Refer to and include or attach any supporting documentation to support your request for reimbursement.
Provide instructions for forwarding the reimbursement in the second paragraph, including any provisions you might have for making payment by credit card or PayPal. Supply your mailing address if you expect a check by postal mail. Include the best phone number to contact you in case the person has any questions about the nature or amount of the reimbursement. Write a friendly closing paragraph, thanking the person in advance for her “prompt attention to this matter.”
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Writing the Basic Business Letter
- Colorado State University: Writing Guide: Business Letters
- Office Writing: Request Letter
- Letters from the Homeroom: Debt Collection Letters
- The New St. Martin’s Handbook; Andrea Lunsford and Robert Connors; 1999.
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