Business Letter Formats


There are certain standards for formatting a business letter, though some variations are acceptable (for example between European and North American business letters). Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Use A4 (European) or 8½ X 11 inch (North American) paper or letterhead
  • Use 2.5 cm or 1 inch margins on all four sides
  • Use a simple font such as Times New Roman or Arial
  • Use 10 to 12 point font
  • Use a comma after the salutation (Dear Mr Bond,)
  • Lay out the letter so that it fits the paper appropriately
  • Single space within paragraphs
  • Double space between paragraphs
  • Double space between last sentence and closing (Sincerely, Best wishes)
  • Leave three to fives spaces for a handwritten signature
  • cc: (meaning "copies to") comes after the typed name (if necessary)
  • enc: (meaning "enclosure") comes next (if necessary)
  • Fold in three (horizontally) before placing in the envelope
  • Use right ragged formatting (not justified on right side)

Formatting Business Letters

Block format is the most common format used in business today. With this format, nothing is centred. The sender's address, the recipient's address, the date and all new paragraphs begin at the left margin, like this:


Wicked Wax Co. Ltd

22 Charlton Way

London, SE10 8QY


5th December, 2006 Ms.


Maggie Jones

Angel Cosmetics Inc.

110 East 25th Street

New York, NY, 10021

USA


Your ref: 123

Our ref: abc



Dear Ms. Jones,


Forthcoming Exhibition


First paragraph...

Second paragraph...

Third paragraph...


Sincerely,  

Morris Howard

Morris Howard, President


cc: Brian Waldorf

Enc: catalogue

ANY« SENDER'S ADDRESS

« may be printed company logo and address



« DATE


« RECIPIENT'S ADDRESS






« RECIPIENT'S REFERENCE (IF ANY)

« SENDER'S REFERENCE (IF Any)


 

« SALUTATION


« SUBJECT


« BODY OF LETTER




« CLOSING

« SIGNATURE (HAND-WRITTEN)

« NAME, TITLE (TYPED)


« COPY TO

« ENCLOSURE