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Business letter sample text
February 16, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

This handout will help you write business letters required in many different situations, from applying for a job to requesting or delivering information. While the.

Use a professional tone: Save casual, chatty language for email - your printed business letter should be friendly but more professional. As Scott Ober suggests in his book Contemporary Business Communication, "The business writer should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous, and sincere; that uses emphasis and subordination appropriately; that contains nondiscriminatory language; that stresses the "you" attitude; and that is written at an appropriate level of difficulty." That said, be sure to sound like yourself - you don't want your letter to read as if a machine wrote it.

Write clearly: State your point early in your letter. To avoid any miscommunications, use straightforward, concise language. Skip the industry jargon and instead choose lively, active words to hold your reader's attention.

Organize your information logically: Group related information into separate paragraphs. In a long, information-packed letter, consider organizing information into sections with subheads. You may want to highlight key words to make them "pop" - this technique is possible with most word-processing programs and your color multifunction printer.

Use Color To Emphasize Words In Text: It's easy to put a few words in color to draw attention to them. Just select the type and click the arrow to the right of the Font Color button, choose the color you want, then click the button. Or, try highlighting a few words in the text. Select the type you want to emphasize, then click the Highlight button. Note: When highlighting parts of a document you intend to print, use a light color such as yellow, light green, or light blue. If you wish to remove the highlighting, select the text and click the Highlight button again.

AutoText automates applying color (or any type style), which would ordinarily take numerous clicks or commands. Say you're creating a report that compares your organization's performance against that of your competitor. Word can automatically color your company's name every time it appears, making those entries easy to locate.

Be persuasive: Establish a positive relationship with your reader right away. If you have a connection to the reader - you've met before or have a mutual colleague, for example - mention it in your introductory paragraph. Whether you think your reader will agree with the point of your letter or not, it is important to find common ground and build your case from there.

Understand your reader well enough to anticipate how he or she will react when reading your letter. Address his or her needs or wishes, or a specific problem, and then outline your solution. Provide proof in the way of examples and/or expert opinions to back up your point. Make sure to maintain a friendly tone.

Conclude your letter with a "call to action." State clearly what your reader needs to do or believe to achieve the desired solution and then state what you, the writer, intend to do next to follow up.

Proofread your letter: All your careful crafting and printing can't cover up spelling or punctuation errors, which leave a lasting negative impression.

Now that you've learned the secrets of writing an effective business letter, you're ready to start composing. Good luck!

For more tips for your small business, check out our Small Business Insights.

A business letter should always follow a certain format and structure to ensure Feel free to copy and paste the text into your own email, Word.

FREE Sample Letter Templates & Guides

business letter sample text

In the professional world, you will often need to write a business letter. From applying to a new job, to writing a thank you note, sending a note of apology, or sending a farewell email when you depart, there are many circumstances that will require an appropriately formatted letter.

How to Write a Business Letter

What should you include in a professional letter written for business purposes? A business letter is a formal document, with a set structure. As you can see from the examples in the links below, a business letter has a very defined format. A business letter includes contact information, a salutation, the body of the letter, a complimentary close, and a signature. 

There are rules for everything, from how wide the letter's margins should be to what size font to use.

  • In general, it's wise to keep the body of your business letter direct and brief.
  • Explain why you are writing in your first paragraph,
  • Provide more specifics in the next paragraph, and
  • Use your closing paragraph to reiterate your reason for writing
  • Thank the recipient for reading, and possibly mention follow-up plans

Below, you'll find a list of business letter examples for a variety of employment and business-related correspondence, as well as tips for how to write an appropriate and effective business letter. Use these samples as a starting point when you have to write your own letter.

Business Letter Example

This is a business letter example. Download the business letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Business Letter Example (Text Version)

Jennifer Wilson
7 Half Moon Drive
Bayberry Heights, Massachusetts 02630
555-555-5555
email@email.com

November 14, 2018

Michelle Price
Manager
The Yarn Company
324 Central Ave
Bayberry Heights, Massachusetts 02630

Dear Ms. Price:

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to discuss selling my handmade sweaters in your wonderful shop.

As I mentioned in our conversation, I’ve been a customer of your store since I used my third-grade allowance to buy my very first pair of knitting needles. I’m honored that you’d consider selling one of my original creations at The Yarn Company alongside your own work.

We discussed a trial consignment arrangement in which a portion of the sales would go to the store. This is more than agreeable to me.

Let me know how you want to proceed. I’m available most afternoons at 555-555-5555, or you can email me at email@email.com, and I’ll respond to your message ASAP.

Thanks, and best,

Jennifer Wilson

Business Letter Template and Format

Business Letter Template
This template includes all the information that should be included in a business letter. There are examples of each section of the letter, and tips on how to choose a style for your correspondence.

Format for Writing a Business Letter
This letter format includes information on choosing an appropriate layout, font, salutation, spacing, closing, and signature for business correspondence.

Business Letter Examples Listed by Type

Appreciation Letters
Very often, feedback at work is dominated by the negative. If someone you work with closely does a great job, don't miss the opportunity to give praise and positive feedback. Sending a letter is a nice way to let employees, co-workers, colleagues, clients, and others know how much you appreciate them.

Business Thank You Letters
If someone does you a favor or helps you out in any way, always remember to send a thank you note. Browse this link for business thank you letter samples for a variety of business- and employment-related scenarios.

Candidate Rejection Letter
When you are in charge of hiring, you will need to inform job applicants when they do not receive the position. Here is an example of a candidate rejection letter to send to an individual who was not selected for a job.

Email Message Examples
While it's often nice to send a handwritten or printed out note in the mail, it's more common these days to email. Here you’ll find business- and employment-related email message examples.

Employee Letters
Review sample employee letters and letters for job applicants for employment including employee reference letters, job offer letters, appreciation and congratulation letters, and more letter examples.

Employment Verification Letter
Employment verification letters are often requested by landlords to confirm that a person is employed at a company. See information on what should be included in the letter and a sample employment verification letter.

Farewell Letters
Farewell message examples to let colleagues, clients, and your connections know that you are moving on. Sending a farewell letter is a good way to update people with new contact information so you can keep in touch in the future.

Inquiry Letters
Use inquiry letters to request meetings and to inquire about job opportunities that haven't been advertised. These letters are a way to get your foot in the door at a prospective employer who hasn't publicly listed available jobs.

Job Promotion Letter
A job promotion letter gives information on the promotion, including the employee's new title, salary, and the date the employee is transitioning into the new role.

New Employee Letter
Sample welcome letter to send to a new employee, as well as details on the information to include in this type of letter.

Reference Letters
See examples of reference letters, recommendation letters, personal references, professional references, character references, and academic references.

Referral Letters
Referral letter examples including letters and email messages requesting a referral, letters referring employees, a colleague, or an acquaintance for a job, and examples of referral cover letters and thank you letters.

Resignation Letters
If you are planning on quitting a job, review these resignation letter and email examples. They can be used in a variety of situations, including resigning with notice, resigning over email, and resigning effective immediately.

Retirement Letters
See letter examples for retirement announcements when you're retiring, and congratulation letters and emails for connections who have retired.

Welcome Back Letters
Examples of welcome back letters for new employees and employees returning to work after a leave.

Microsoft Word Letter Templates
When you need to write an employment letter, it can be helpful to start from a template. Microsoft Word templates are available for resumes, cover letters, resignation letters, reference letters, and interview letters.

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Company letter for employee

Types of Business Letter

business letter sample text

Professional correspondence should always have a clean, crisp appearance, and Ginger’s business letter templates will help you achieve the look you want.

Full Block Format

Full block style business letters have a formal appearance, however they can be used in informal business situations as well as formal ones. If you are looking for a single format that will work well in every situation, this is a good one to use.
Notice that the following business letter format is laid out so that it is easy to read. It is also a template that is very easy to type, as there are no indents to worry about.

Full Block Format Business Letter Template

Your Name
Address
Address
Phone
Today’s Date

Recipient’s Name
Company
Address
Address
Address
Dear (Recipient’s Name),

This block format business letter template illustrates how quick and easy communications can be to type. Notice that it looks very much like the semi-block letter format, except the paragraphs are not indented. This is a format you can use for all business occasions.
Notice that all elements in this letter are left justified. This formatting provides a crisp, modern look that many people prefer.
If you have any enclosures to include in this letter, make a note at the bottom left, a few spaces below the signature block. Just write “enclosures:” and follow up with the names of any items inside the envelope. A brochure, an application, or a copy of an invoice are some of the things you might think about including.

Sincerely,

Your First name, Last name, and Title

Modified Block Format

Modified block style business letters are less formal than full block style letters. If you are corresponding with someone you already have a good working relationship with, the modified block style letter is a good one to use.
Notice that the following business letter format is written without indents. If you prefer to use indents, try using the semi-block or modified semi-block format instead.

Modified Block Format Business Letter Template

Your Name

Address
Address
Phone
Today’s Date

Recipient’s Name
Company Name
Address
Address
Address

Dear (Recipient’s Name):

This modified block business letter format looks very much like the modified semi-block letter format, except the paragraphs are not indented. Modified block letters are just a little less formal than full block letters.
Notice that the sender’s address, the closing, the signature, and the signature block all start near the center of the page. In some cases, people who prefer to use this format begin these elements five spaces to the right of the center of the page.
If you have any enclosures to include in this letter, make a note at the bottom left, a few spaces below the signature block. Just write “enclosures:” and follow up with the names of any items inside the envelope. A brochure, an application, or a copy of an invoice are some of the things you might think about including.

Sincerely,

 

Your First name, Last name, and Title

 

Standard Format

Standard format business letters are quite formal. Because they include an optional subject line, they are ideal for situations in which you need to create a formal response or communicate about an account number or case number.
At the bottom of this template, you’ll see something the other business letter templates don’t contain. Below the signature block are three lines of text indicating that a secretary or assistant typed the letter for the sender, that a copy was sent to another recipient, and that there are enclosures. In other business letter formats, “enclosures” is written out. In standard format, the word is abbreviated.

Standard Format Business Letter Template

Your Name
Address
Address
Phone
Today’s Date

Recipient’s Name
Company Name
Address
Address
Address

SUBJECT: Type the subject here and underline it.

Dear (Recipient’s Name),

This standard business letter format looks very much like the block letter format. Notice that everything is left justified.
You will notice that this template contains some elements that are different from those in the other business letter formats on this page. First, there is a subject line. This element is optional, and can be replaced with a “RE:” line that is used to reference something specific like a previous communication or an account number. Be sure to underline this so that it stands out.
Additionally, this template has three other elements. On the line located beneath the signature block, you will notice my initials in upper case letters. A colon separates them from my assistant’s initials, which are written in lower case letters. This indicates that my assistant typed the letter for me. If you type a standard business letter yourself, you do not need to include this element.
Beneath the initials, you will see “cc:” followed by my business partner’s name. This indicates that I have sent a copy of this letter to my partner. If you write a letter like this one but don’t cc anyone, there’s no need to include this element.
Finally, you will notice the letters “encl” followed by a colon. This indicates that there are enclosures. Interestingly, the standard business letter is the only one in which you use “encl” instead of writing “enclosure” to show that a brochure, application, invoice, or other item(s) are enclosed. As you may have already guessed, you can skip the “encl” if you haven’t included anything with the letter in the envelope.

Sincerely,

Your First name, Last name, and Title
YN:an
cc: Business Partner, Other entity
encl: Business letter template

Open Format

The open format business letter has a clean, formal look just as the block format letter does. It is suitable for all business communications.
There is one major difference between this format and the other business letter formats on this page: It contains no punctuation after the greeting, and no punctuation after the closing.

Semi-Block Format

The semi-block format business letter is a little less formal than the block format letter and slightly more formal than the modified block format letter. It works well in almost all situations and is a good choice if you find yourself on the fence about which format to use.
Semi-block business letters differ from most others in that the first line of each paragraph is indented. Look at the modified semi-block business letter template if you’d like to try another format with indentations. It is the least formal of all the formats shown on this page.

Semi-Block Format Business Letter Template

Your Name
Address
Address
Phone
Today’s Date

Recipient’s Name
Company
Address
Address
Address

Dear (Recipient’s Name),

This semi-block business letter format looks very much like the block letter format, except the

paragraphs have been indented. Semi-block format letters are just a little more formal than modified semi-block business letters.

Notice that the sender’s address, the closing, the signature, and the signature block are left justified.

The only elements of this business letter format that are not left justified are the first lines of each of the paragraphs.

If you have any enclosures to include in this letter, make a note at the bottom left, a few spaces below

the signature block. Just write “enclosures:” and follow up with the names of any items inside the envelope. A brochure, an application, or a copy of an invoice are some of the things you might think about including.

Sincerely,

Your First name, Last name, and Title

Embed code:

A business letter should always follow a certain format and structure to ensure Feel free to copy and paste the text into your own email, Word.

Business Letter Format: Templates, Examples, & Writing Guide

business letter sample text

Business communication is not the same as regular communication.

You probably don’t text your CEO with a bunch of emojis, if you text them at all. You don’t write a resignation letter the same way you write an Instagram caption.

Communicating within the office is formal and professional, or so it should be. Even if you have a relaxed office environment, you should still deliver certain work communications according to standard best practices.

What am I talking about?

Types of Business Letters

  1. Cover letter
  2. Thank you letter
  3. Letter of resignation
  4. Reference letter
  5. Letter of recommendation
  6. Letter of interest
  7. Inquiry letter
  8. Letter of intent
  9. Sales letter
  10. Complaint letter
  11. Adjustment letter
  12. Order letter
  13. Acknowledgment letter

I’m not referring to the company-wide invitation to your annual barbecue or announcing to your team that you’re engaged. Those are casual, personal matters that can be communicated any way you see fit.

I’m referring to reference letters, thank you letters, cover letters, and any other type of communication that needs to be written in the formal format we learned about in middle school.

If you're going to create any of these letters effectively, make sure you have downloaded a document creation software. 

Below is a list of important business communications as well as definitions and resources to view and utilize helpful examples.

TIP: Learn how to write a resignation letter in 2019 (and stay respectful.)

Business letter format 

First, let's talk about how you should format a business letter. The specifics of each letter will look different, but if you need to send a generic business letter, you can follow the following format. 

Much like any letter, you should have a heading that consists of your address and the date. 


Next, you should be sure to address the recipient of the letter. Standard format is the recipient's name followed by their title, company, and company address. 

Then comes the body of the letter. You'll need to refer to the recipient by name. If you don't know their name, you can address the letter to "To whom it may concern." 

Once you have finished writing your (very important) business letter, you'll sign off with a polite signature. 

Let's piece it all together. 


Business letter best practices

One way to make sure your message is received as intended is to abide by the following best practices no matter the letter's unique purpose. 

  • Proofread: Be sure to go over your letter two or three times checking for grammar and spelling mistakes. This will make sure you seem more astute in your communications. 
  • Peer edits: If you have a friend, colleague, or mentor you know would be willing to edit the document for you, don't be afraid to ask. Having a fresh mind look over the letter will catch mistakes your brain has glossed over. 
  • File format: Make sure your letter is in line with the requested file format. For example, send cover letters as PDFs, but send sales letters per your company's preference. 
  • Check name spelling: I know I already mentioned proofreading, but checking to see that you spelled names correctly should be a step all its own. This is especially true for cover letters and letters of intent. It's a sign of respect to get the name of an individual or organization right. 

Types of business letters

Business letters are split up according to their purpose. Not every piece of communication is aiming to send the same message. Some letters end your time at a company, others get you noticed by a new hiring manager.

In this way, no two types of letters will be written exactly the same. To maintain a professional rapport within the workplace, familiarize yourself with the following types of business letters and when you should use them.

Cover letter

What is a cover letter? A cover letter is a letter that you send to a company when you wish to be considered for a job opportunity. Cover letters are typically submitted alongside your job application and resume.

Cover letters offer hiring managers additional information about who you are. This is information they typically wouldn’t be able to glean from your other professional materials.

For more information on how to write cover letters, read everything you need to know about cover letters. 

When should you write a cover letter? You should write a cover letter any time you are trying to get hired for a job in the corporate world. Many job applications will say a cover letter is optional, however,I encourage you to write one anyway.

Thank you letter

What is a thank you letter? A thank you letter in the professional world is a little different from letters you’d write after a graduation or wedding celebration. Typically, professional thank you letters are written to hiring manager or interviewers from a candidate who has been interviewed and considered for a job.

Thank you letters are a way of signaling gratitude to your potential new organization, as well as showing managers you’re not afraid to take initiative. For more information, read How to Write a Thank You Letter After a Job Interview.

 

When should you write a thank you letter? Technically you could write a professional thank you letter for a number of reasons, but in this scenario, we’re referring to letters written by interviewees. Candidates should write and send thank you letters or emails immediately following an in-person or video interview.

Letter of resignation

What is a letter of resignation? A letter of resignation formally informs your current employer that you will no longer be working there after a brief period of time. In more extreme or urgent cases, a letter of resignation informs your employer that you will be quitting, effective immediately.

In most scenarios, employees will turn in this letter with two or three weeks’ notice. This means you’ve informed your employer that you’re leaving, but will continue working for a predetermined amount of time to help out with the transition of either hiring a replacement or losing an employee altogether. 

 

When should you write a letter of resignation? You should write a letter of resignation when you are ready to quit your job. The amount of notice you give will depend entirely on your situation. Do not, however, turn in a letter of resignation unless you are ready to quit within the next two or three weeks.

For more information as well as best practices, read How to Write a Resignation Letter (and stay respectful). Consider also learning how to write a two-weeks notice letter. 

Reference letter

What is a reference letter? A reference letter is a letter written by a professional or personal connection that vouches for a candidate’s skills and experience in the hopes of helping them get a new job offer. Reference letters are often written by former managers or other executives, or by teachers, professors and mentors. Reference letters will sometimes, but not often, be written by friends or neighbors.

No matter who writes them, they should be positive recountings of a professional’s experience working with or overseeing the candidate in question. They should mention specific anecdotes and describe aspects of the candidate’s character.

 

When should you write a reference letter? You should write a reference letter if you have been asked to write a reference letter. You should only say yes if you can honestly and positively speak to a person’s character and work experience. If someone you don’t know well or don’t think highly of asks you to write a reference letter, it might be best to politely decline.

For more information, including the do’s and don’ts, check out my article on How to Write a Letter of Recommendation. (Coming soon!)

Letter of recommendation

What is a letter of recommendation? A letter of recommendation is another way of referring to a reference letter. It is exactly as described above.

When should you write a letter of recommendation? You would write a letter of recommendation for the same scenario in which you would write a reference letter.

Letter of interest

What is a letter of interest? A letter of interest is a document sent to an organization by a candidate who is interested in fulfilling a role that is currently not listed. Prospective candidates can write a letter of intent when contacting a company to discuss possible job opportunities and ways they might be a good fit for the organization.

When should you write a letter of interest? You should write a letter of interest when you are interested in working for a company, but notice it does not have any current job listings that apply to you.

Inquiry letter

What is an inquiry letter? Inquiry letters ask a question or request a certain type of information from the recipient. A letter of interest is just one example of an inquiry letter, as it asks an organization about their current job opportunities.

When should you write an inquiry letter? You can write an inquiry letter any time you want to present a question to someone within your professional network.

Letter of intent

What is a letter of intent? A letter of intent is exactly as it sounds: it is a letter that declares your intentions. Letters of intent are used to form an agreement between various parties. They can be used when drafting a proposal, applying or accepting a job, or when agreeing to a particular deal.

When should you write a letter of intent? You should write a letter of intent when you want a written agreement between yourself and other parties. You can use a letter of intent to communicate future negotiations, as well as to announce or make public a negotiation.

A letter of intent protects both parties involved as the agreement is in writing as opposed to just word of mouth.

Sales letter

What is a sales letter? A sales letter, perhaps more prominently understood as a sales email, is a form of communication that exists to engage and interest the reader in learning more about a product or service.

There are many different strategies regarding how one should write a sales letter. Ultimately, you should pursue the strategy your company lays out in their playbook. All sales letters, however, should include a call-to-action, as well as a method of contacting you should the reader be interested.

When should you write a sales letter? You should write a sales letter when you are seeking to gain a professional or an organization’s attention. In other words, when you’re hoping to interest someone in a deal or sale.

Follow-up letter

What is a follow-up letter? A follow-up letter is a letter you write following a prior communication. Follow-up letters can be regarding a sale or a company’s decision to partner with you. Follow-up letters reiterate your interest and remind the receiving party to get back to you with a response.

Follow-up letters could also be simple thank yous or recountings of everything discussed in a meeting. In other words, some follow-up letters are not always soliciting a response.

When should you write a follow-up letter? This answer is obvious: you should write a follow-up letter when you wish to follow up with someone. Whether you’re seeking a response or simply wishing to further your communication, a follow-up letter is a good choice.

Complaint letter

What is a complaint letter? A complaint letter is a letter you write when you have a bone to pick with an organization or individual. Say you received horrendous customer service, or you found an ad to be targeting you inappropriately.

You’d write a complaint letter to inform an organization of the situation and allow them to decide next steps.

Although it has the word “complaint” in the title, not all complaint letters have to be rage documents wherein you ream out a company for some wrongdoing. They could just be a simple description of your dissatisfaction with a few suggested expectations for recourse.

If you are angry though, by all means, have at it.

When should you write a complaint letter? You should write a complaint letter when you have a complaint. Granted, we have many other methods of complaining these days (lucky customer service reps).

It’s more common to see someone calling a company’s customer service hotline, or even chatting with a representative online. A letter is a more formal way of communicating, but it does get the message across that you’re serious enough about this issue to write in.

Adjustment letter

What is an adjustment letter? Adjustment letters are a company or individual’s way of responding to a complaint letter. The letter should clearly state the company’s stance in the case.

If you’re siding with the customer, state that immediately. If you’re not siding with the customer, be sure to communicate that clearly while still offering exceptional customer service.

When should you write an adjustment letter? You should write an adjustment letter after your company has received a complaint letter from a customer. It’s important to respond to support queries to save face and keep customers loyal.

Order letter

What is an order letter? An order letter is a document wherein business managers or owners communicate to their manufacturers the specifics of what they are going to buy. Order letters contain information such as quantities, sizes, colors, product names and order numbers, and the anticipated price.

Order letters are often formatted as a form rather than an official business letter. This is because forms and spreadsheets make it easier to understand the bigger picture of what all a person wants.

When should you write an order letter? You should write an order letter when you’re ready to purchase wholesale goods for retail sales. Some business managers and owners will include payment for goods in the order letter, so it’s imperative you don't’ send in an order letter until you are ready and able to make the purchase.

Acknowledgment letters

What is an acknowledgment letter? Acknowledgment letters are like an order confirmation. Businesses send them out to let a customer or relation know they have received prior phone calls, emails, letters, etc.

Acknowledgment letters do not guarantee anything. They also do not communicate that a business has taken any steps to improve a situation. Rather, they tell a customer they have been heard.

When should you write an acknowledgment letter? Businesses should write a letter of acknowledgment when they feel it is necessary for an individual or organization to know they have received their correspondence. This is especially necessary if the original communication regarded something serious, such as an in-store injury.

A letter of acknowledgment does not imply that you have taken any action. Rather, it is the business equivalent of a read receipt – offering reassurance.

To the letter

Hopefully I’ve helped your understanding of the different kinds of business letters and how to go about professional communication. You don’t have to follow my instructions to the letter, but they’re good best practices should you be in search of some guidance.

If you’re in search of additional guidance, we have no shortage of content for you to read and learn.

Check out articles such as: 

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Common errors made in Business Writing ( Business Emails & Letters) - Business English Lesson

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