How to Address a Letter to Someone in a Corporation
Corporations often employ many individuals in various departments with assorted job titles. It can make the amount of incoming and outgoing mail considerable. To ensure your letter ends up in the right hands, ensure you know the proper way to address a letter to someone at a company.
Place the dateline between two and six lines under the letterhead. If the paper you're using doesn't have a letterhead, begin about six or eight lines from the top of the page. Align the dateline with the left margin.
Begin the inside address of the recipient between three and eight lines under the dateline. Use a courtesy title – Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. or Miss – and the full name of the individual as the first line of the inside address.
Enter the person’s business title and department, if applicable, on the second line. If an individual has more than one title in a corporation, list both in the inside address or use only the title that relates to the letter.
Add the name of the corporation on the third line, entering it exactly as the company spells it. This includes all abbreviations, capitalizations and punctuation.
List the corporation’s mailing address immediately under the corporation name.
Generally, use digits for street numbers, spell out city names and use two-letter USPS abbreviations for states. Include the zip code with the address.
If the address is international, copy it carefully to ensure that it is complete and accurate according to the country's requirements.
Properly addressing a letter to a person at a business begins with calling attention to the recipient. Skip one line and place an attention line justified with the left margin. Enter the word “Attention” followed by a colon. Enter the courtesy title and full name of the person you want to open the letter on this line.
Skip one line and place the salutation line, flush with the left margin.
Use the word “Dear” to open the salutation line, followed by the recipient's last name. If you know the individual well and you are on a first-name basis, use the first name only.
Even though you are addressing a letter to an individual at a business and want to be professional, you shouldn't be overly formal, either. However, if you do not know the person well, use the courtesy title and last name.
The Emily Post website recommends using “Ms.” to address a woman you do not know. When the person has a unisex name or an international name that makes it difficult to determine the gender, call the corporation to inquire before addressing the letter. If you cannot determine the gender, omit the courtesy title and use a salutation with the full name. In other countries that do not commonly employ “Ms." as a title, use either "Mrs." or "Miss" to address a letter to a woman.