If you're writing a professional letter that shares business information or requests employment, you'll need to master the art of business communication letter writing. Business letter format will vary from letter to letter. A cover letter, for example, will be lengthier than a resignation letter. Still, every style needs to be clean, clear and efficient. Discover the integral parts of a business letter, explore some tips and walk through a sample document.
A business letter will state a claim or make a request in a formal, professional manner. There are certain elements, such as the heading, greeting and body, that must follow a particular format. Every professional needs to know how to write a business letter. The main difference between writing a business letter and a personal letter is the level of formality. Specifics about each element of a business communication letter and a full-text formal business letter sample will help you get started with writing your own business letter.
While the content of every business letter is unique, they should all follow the same basic structure.
The heading of a business letter needs to include the name and the address of the sender at the top, followed by the date that the letter is being sent. It also needs to include the name and address of the recipient. The addresses should be as complete as possible, including the organization's name, the person's name and the full mailing address. There should be blank lines between each element of the heading.
The greeting of a business letter should be formal. Don't use the recipient's first name, even if the letter is being sent to someone you know fairly well. Use an appropriate courtesy title (Mr. Ms., Mrs., Miss, Dr.) and the recipient's last name. You can opt to put "Dear" in front of the courtesy title and name if you wish. For a business letter, there should be a colon at the end of a greeting, not a comma.
The body of the letter will come after the greeting. This is where the content and purpose of the letter are conveyed. The body should be organized in the format of single-spaced paragraphs, with a blank link between each paragraph. Business letters typically have at least three paragraphs (an introductory paragraph, the main content and a concluding paragraph).
Some professional letters have multiple paragraphs between the introductory and concluding paragraph. That is fine as long as the additional paragraphs are truly relevant to the letter.
It's important to write concisely and clearly, so your letter appears polite and understandable. Explain any requests politely with sufficient detail so that the recipient can respond appropriately, but don't be overly verbose. Instead of gratuitous details, superfluous stories or extraneous tangents, business letters should be simple, short and direct.
The overall tone of business letters should be respectful and formal. When writing this type of letter, your aim should be is to be cordial, direct, efficient, and civil. Use a clear writing style, being sure that you don't come across as demanding or disrespectful.
The end of every business letter should include a complimentary close, which is a brief polite phrase followed by a comma (such as "Sincerely," or "Kind regards,"). There are a number of options for ending a business letter appropriately. Leave two blank lines to allow room to sign the letter, then enter the sender's name and job title below that.
For a more in-depth examination of how a business letter should be formatted and organized, review the formal letter format infographic below. It provides great insights regarding the ideal way to structure business communication letters.
Formal letter formatClick to View & Download
The sample business letter below is written and formatted properly. Review it to get an idea of how a business letter should be set up and worded.
89 Youth Terrace
Knoxville, TN 39083
October 28, 2025
Mr. Jack Werner
HealthRite Company, Inc.
486 Professional Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38901
Dear Mr. Werner:
Enclosed, please find the essential oils you requested. We're delighted to send these samples, as we've been massive fans of HealthRite since 1992 and believe they will spotlight well in your store.
In the white bottle, you'll enjoy the soft notes of our vanilla bergamot oil. Next, we have a lavender infusion in the purple bottle. Finally, we hope you'll enjoy our newest blend, cinnamon cardamon, in the red bottle.
Your mission to change lives, one drop at a time, has lived in our hearts for nearly two decades. Madison and I are elated to be in your consideration for a new partnership. Please feel free to reach out to us with any further questions!
To keep a version of the letter template in a printable format that you can edit and save, download the business communication writing letter PDF below. It reads exactly like the letter above but has been transformed into a customizable template you can use as a starting point for any letters you need to write.
Business communication letter sampleClick to View & Download
It's important to be aware that there are several types of business letters. The sample letter above was written to accompany product samples, but that's certainly not the only reason one might write a business letter. Discover examples of some of the most common variations on business letters.
- appeal letter - If you feel you've been unfairly treated at school or work or by a vendor, writing an appeal letter may help you turn around an undesirable situation.
- sales pitch - Sales pitches are sent to prospective clients and customers, hoping to win their business.
- complaint letter - Complaint letters are sent to voice concerns to a company or other type of organization that has provided poor quality products or services.
- cover letter - When you're submitting your resume to apply for a job, a cover letter should be included with it. This type of letter should indicate your interest in and qualifications for the position. Your cover letter should help you stand out from other applicants.
- letter of interest - While cover letters address a specific, open position, letters of interest seek out employment for positions that aren't currently being recruited for. They're written to let employers know that you are interested in working for the company, even if there isn't a job open at the time.
- letter of recommendation - As a manager, coworker or teacher, you may be called upon to recommend someone for a degree program, scholarship or career opportunity.
- letter of resignation - All good things must come to an end, including various professional roles. Letters of resignation can be short and sweet. They should conclude on a positive note.
Although writing in a professional format can seem daunting, it's really not that difficult. Just format your letter appropriately, keep your tone professional and limit your verbiage to what you really need to say. Consider that the recipient is short on time; you want to make an immediate impression. Now that you're familiar with how to write business letters, explore some other types of business communication.