Template for Writing a Business Letter

by Kochava R. Greene; Updated September 26, 2017

If writing a business letter seems daunting, it may be helpful to know that all business letters should follow a basic template. The template can be used for just about any business situation, and can be used in email as well.

Date

Start your letter by writing the full date of your letter about two inches from the top on the left side of the paper. In the United States, dates are always written as month, date, and year: April 23, 2009.

Addresses and Salutation

Drop down one line from the date and put your street address on one line, your city, state and ZIP code on the next line, and your email address on the third line. Drop down another two lines and put the recipient’s name on the first line, her title on the next line beneath that, her company name on the third line, the company’s street address below that, and her company’s city, state and ZIP code beneath that. Begin your letter with “Dear” and either Ms. or Mr. and the person’s last name, unless you know the person uses another honorific, such as Dr. or Rev., followed by a colon. The top of your letter, under the date, will look like this:

123 Your Street Yourtown, ST 12345 yourname@email.com

Ms. Clara Wills Human Resources Director 456 Company Road Companycity, ST 67890

Dear Ms. Wills:

Body

For the body of your letter, make each paragraph left justified (even with the left margin) and leave a line between paragraphs. Your writing in the body of the letter should be professional and to the point: Clearly state the nature of the letter, your reasons for sending it and what you hope to gain in response to the letter. Separate each idea of the letter into a separate paragraph. If you have more than one request or purpose for your letter, state them both in your introductory paragraph and then treat each fully but separately in subsequent paragraphs. Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations as they can cause confusion: Spell out exactly what you are talking about. Use proper grammar and spelling, and always SpellCheck your letter before you send it.

Closing

End your business letter with “Sincerely,” or “Sincerely Yours.” Drop down four spaces in a print letter and put your full name. Sign in the space between the closing and your name. In an email, put your name on the next line after your closing.