Who/Why Write Business Letters 

Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses and usually sent through the Post Office or sometimes by courier. Business letters are sometimes called "snail-mail" (in contrast to email which is faster). This lesson concentrates on business letters but also looks at other business correspondence. It includes:

  • letter
  • memo
  • fax
  • email

Who writes Business Letters?

Most people who have an occupation have to write business letters. Some write many letters each day and others only write a few letters over the course of a career. Business people also read letters on a daily basis. Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender to a person/group, known in business as the recipient. Here are some examples of senders and recipients:

  • business «» business
  • business «» consumer
  • job applicant «» company
  • citizen «» government official
  • employer «» employee
  • staff member «» staff member

Why write Business Letters?

There are many reasons why you may need to write business letters or other correspondence:

  • to persuade
  • to inform
  • to request
  • to express thanks
  • to remind
  • to recommend
  • to apologize
  • to congratulate
  • to reject a proposal or offer
  • to introduce a person or policy
  • to invite or welcome
  • to follow up
  • to formalize decisions

Read through the following pages to learn more about the different types of business letters, and how to write them. You will learn about formatting, planning, and writing letters, as well as how to spot your own errors. These pages are designed to help you write business letters and correspondence, but they will also help you learn to read, and therefore respond to, the letters you receive. You will also find samples that you can use and alter for your own needs