Professional Business Letter Template

Pen signing document
Comstock Images / Stockbyte / Getty Images

A business letter is a professional piece of correspondence. If you are writing a cover letter, letter of recommendation, or thank you note, you will need to follow the formal conventions of a business letter.

Different Formats for Business Letters

A note on formats for business letters. There are three basic styles for business letters:

  • Block format: In this style, all text is left justified. Skip one line between each section.
  • Modified block format: Most content is left justified in this style, just as in the block format letter. Here are the exceptions: for your contact information and complimentary close, tab over to the center of the page, and write information there.
  • Semi-block format: Also sometimes referred to as indented block format, this style is the same as the modified block format, except that it has each paragraph indented.

Any of these styles is acceptable for use in a business letter, but since the rules for the block format are so clear cut, this may be the easier option to select. Many word processing programs will have templates available to help you format your letter appropriately. Whichever format you choose, make sure to single space the letter, and skip a space between every paragraph and section.

Professional Appearance

Since a business letter is a professional piece of correspondence, it's important for it to look professional.

This means choosing an appropriate font and font size, and not using casual language or slang. Prevent typos and grammatical errors by proofreading carefully.

The following business letter template lists the information you need to include in a business letter.

Business Letter Template

Contact Information: Include your contact information in the following order.

If you are using personalized letterhead that includes this information, leave off this section.

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date: In the United States, the format for writing the date is month, date, and year. For example, September 3, 2016. Do not abbreviate the month.

Contact Information: Include the contact information for the person you are writing to. If you do not have a specific name, leave that off.

City, State, Zip Code

Salutation: Start off the letter with a salutation, such as "Dear" followed by the title and name. See more examples of appropriate greetings to use in a business letter, as well as advice on what to do if you do not have a specific contact person. Follow the person's name with a colon.

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Body of Business Letter

Keep your letter simple and focused, so the purpose of your letter is clear.

The first paragraph of your business letter should provide an introduction to why you are writing. Then, in the following paragraphs provide more information and details about your request. The final paragraph should reiterate the reason you are writing and thank the reader for reviewing your request.

Single space your letter and justify your letter to the left. Leave a blank line between each paragraph.

Complimentary Close:

Respectfully yours,


Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)

Typed Signature

Free Microsoft Letter Templates for Word
Microsoft letter templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users, or are available within your Word program, to use to create a variety of business and employment letters.

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.

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

Please Note: This sample is provided for guidance only. The provided information, including samples and examples, is not guaranteed for accuracy or legality. Letters and other correspondence should be edited to fit your personal situation.