Business Letter Salutation Examples

Sample Salutations for Business Letters

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When you're writing a business letter or sending an email message it's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the letter. Using an appropriate greeting sets the tone for your letter.

While a simple "Hi," "Hello," or even "Hey" is appropriate in casual correspondence, a more formal salutation is appropriate when you are emailing about a business-related matter, such as a cover letter, letter of recommendation, or inquiry letter.


The following is a list of letter salutation examples that are appropriate for business and employment related correspondence.

Business Letter Salutation Examples

  • Dear Mr. Smith
  • Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • Dear Mr. White and Ms. Smith 
  • Dear Dr. Smith 
  • Dear Judge Smith 
  • Dear Ms. Jones
  • Dear Jane Doe
  • Dear First Name (if you know the person well)
  • Dear Dr. Haven
  • Dear Dr. and Mrs. Haven

How to Write a Letter Greeting

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma, a space, and then start the first paragraph of your letter. Using a colon is the more formal option. For example:

Dear Mr. Smith:

First paragraph of letter.

Guidelines for Names and Titles  

The salutation should typically use the person's last name, along with a "Mr." or "Ms." In general, avoid using "Mrs." or "Miss" unless you are certain of how the woman wants to be addressed. When in doubt, default to using "Ms." 

If you are writing to someone who has a doctorate or medical degree, use the abbreviated form: "Dr." However, for other titles, such as professor, judge, rabbi, etc., write out the full title and capitalize it.

For example, your salutation in a letter to a judge would be, "Dear Judge Barnard." Or, if you correspondence was to a rabbi, you might write, "Dear Rabbi Williams." 

When your letter is to more than one person, write out all of their names separately. For example, "Dear Mr. Hobbes, Ms. Luxe, and Mr. Hopman." For married couples, if one person in the couple has changed his or her name, you only need to use the last name once.

For instance, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Sometimes a person's gender is unclear from a name; think about "Corey" or "Blake," which could be either women's or men's names. If that's the case, you can see if you can determine gender from searching on LinkedIn or a company website. But if it remains ambiguous, simply write out the person's full name, dropping the title. For example, "Dear Corey Meyer." 

When You Don't Have a Contact Person

If you don't have a contact person at the organization, you could either leave off the salutation and start with the first paragraph of your letter or use a general salutation.

General Salutations for Business Letters

Suggested Reading

Business Letters
How to write business letters, general business letter format and templates, and employment related business letter examples.

Sample Letters
Letter samples for job seekers, including cover letters, interview thank you letters, follow-up letters, job acceptance and rejection letters, resignation letters, appreciation letters, and more great employment letter samples.

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