Formal Letter Closing Examples

Businessman doing paperwork
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Once you write the final paragraph of a formal letter, you may feel like you're done, and can move on to proofreading. But just as there is a style to how to address someone in a formal letter, and for the letter's overall format, there are also guidelines in place for how to sign off. 

When ending a formal letter, it's important to convey the appropriate amount of respect to the person receiving the letter.

Your closing and signature should be as professional as the rest of your letter or email message

What Is a Complimentary Close?

A complimentary close, also known as a complimentary closing, is the term prior to your signature in an email message or formal letter. This sign-off phrase shows your respect and appreciation for the person who is considering the request in your letter or email. 

When writing or emailing a cover letter for a job or any type of business letter, it's appropriate to use a complimentary close. Make sure to choose one that is professional rather than casual. 

Formal Letter Closing Examples

The following options are all good ways to close a formal letter:

  • Best,
  • Best regards,
  • Best wishes,
  • My best,
  • Regards
  • Respectfully,
  • Respectfully yours,
  • Sincerely,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Thank you,
  • Yours respectfully,
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Yours truly,
  • With appreciation,
  • With gratitude,
  • With sincere appreciation,
  • With sincere thanks,

Which Complimentary Close Is the Right One to Use? 

All of the options listed above are appropriate. Choose which one to use based on how well you know the recipient, and the circumstances behind your letter writing. For instance, limit options that are some form of a thank you (such as "With appreciation" and "With gratitude") to instances where you are requesting a favor or expressing appreciation.

You can think of "Best" and "Sincerely" and the variations on these closers as the little black dress of complimentary closes. You can't go wrong choosing one of these options—they're always appropriate.

Avoid Being Overly Casual in Your Closing

You are not emailing with a friend or sending a thank you note to a relative. Do not use casual sign-offs like "Love," "Cheers," or "Always." These options do not match the formality of your letter. You want to keep the professional tone of your correspondence consistent, from the salutation through the sign-off. 

How to Format the Closing and Include Your Signature 

Always remember to follow up the close with a comma, as in the examples below. Your typed name will go after the complimentary close. 

If you are sending a hard copy letter, leave four lines of space between the closing and your typed name. When you print out the letter, you will sign your name in blue or black ink in the space between your complimentary close and your typed name. 

If you're sending an email, leave one space between the complimentary close and your signature.

You can write your title below your name, as well as your phone and email address. In emails, you can include an email signature section with contact information.

Email Message Signature:

Sincerely,

Tanisha Johnson
Sales Manager, ABC Industries:

Printed Letter Signature

Best regards,

(written signature)

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone

More Guidelines for Writing a Formal Letter

From appropriate formatting to how to address the letter, find out tips and guidance for writing a formal business letter.