How to Format a Business Letter

person signing letter
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A business letter is a fairly formal document that has specific rules around its layout and language. Although email has taken over as the most common form of correspondence, printed out business letters are still used for many important, serious types of correspondence, such as reference letters, employment verification, job offers, and much more.

When you are writing business correspondence it is important to write all your letters professionally, and to be sure there are no typos or grammatical errors.

Each section of your letter should match the appropriate format for a business letter, including contact information for yourself and the person you are writing to, salutation, body of the letter, closing, and your signature.

The following business letter format includes the information you need to include in a general business letter, as well as information on how to format and space the text.

Business Letter Format

Contact Information (Your contact information)
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address


Contact Information (The person or company you are writing to)
City, State, Zip Code


Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name: (Use a formal salutation not a first name)

Body of Business Letter

When writing a business letter, keep your letter simple and targeted, so the purpose of your letter is clear. Single space your letter and leave a space between each paragraph.

Left justify your letter.

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 specific details about your request. Explain why you are writing so it's easy for the reader to understand what you are asking.

The last paragraph of your letter should reiterate the reason you are writing and thank the reader for reviewing your request.

Leave a blank line after the salutation, between each paragraph, and before the complimentary close.

Complimentary Close:

Respectfully yours,


Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)

Typed Signature

Letter Writing Tips

Here's more information on how to write a business letter, including choosing a font, selecting margins, and formatting your letter properly.

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.

Read More: Sample Professional Letter Formats