Business Letter: Letters purely used for business purposes in case of transactions between two individuals, clients, customers, consumers, dealers etc., are termed as business letters. In general, any correspondence that occurs on official terms is written down in business letters. They are used to address corporate affairs professionally.
In today’s fast paced world, business letters are hardly sent in hard copies. In almost all cases, business letters are sent and received over e-mails. In exceptional cases like employment offer letters, appointment letters, tender correspondences and job letters, hard copies are mandatorily sent. Employees and stakeholders need to maintain a record of these hard copies as they are important references for the present and the future.
The important exchange of information between companies and individuals, recorded in written matters, either over mails or hard copies, is popularly called transaction letters or documents. They are a quintessential part of every company. Business letters vary in length and size based on the requirement. In this article, we shall explore many types, formats and samples of business letters.
How to Write a Business Formal Letter?
Over the years, the way business is performed changed drastically. Similarly, business correspondences have also undergone a sea change and are no longer done traditionally. Business letters are treated as important documents pertaining to the company; hence they should be written and handled with a lot of care. The most important things about business letters are that they should always conform to company letterheads.
Business letters are official drafts meant to be an important part of the business activity itself. Whatever is written on the business letter should be fact-checked, relevant, up-to-date and true to its words. Rendering false or unsure information or writing long passages should be avoided.
If the recipient is unknown to the sender, they have to be formally addressed as” To whomsoever, it may concern. Every word in a business letter should be explicitly tied from a business point of view. All addressing should compulsorily begin in a formal tone. The entire letter should be professionally prepared and proof-checked.
Business Letter Format
- Sender’s Details: Name, company address, e-mail and phone number
- Date of sending letter
- Recipient’s details: Name, company name, contact details, e-mail ID
- Addressing/ greeting the recipient: Dear Sir/ Ma’am OR ‘To whomsoever it may concern’ OR Dear [first name of recipient].
- Body of letter: In the 1st paragraph, introduce the reason you’re writing this letter. In the 2nd paragraph, explain the matter in-depth and in the 3rd paragraph, provide a suitable conclusion.
- Close the letter with appropriate greetings such as “Yours sincerely”/ “Yours cordially” or “yours respectfully”.
- You could also mention basic informal wishes such as Congratulations/ Best of luck/ the entire best etc.
- Attach your signature, without which the letter wouldn’t be processed for official purposes.
An easy-to-follow format for writing business letters is explained below:
Body of the letter
Different Types of Business Letters
Business letters are written for specific correspondences and transactions or to communicate important matters in professional matters. Common types of business letters are:
- Company employment offer letters
- Appointment letters
- Letter of acknowledgement
- Reference letters
- Letters listing orders of a company
- Complaint letters
- Notice letters
- Sales letters and quotation drafts
- Recommendation letters
- Inquiry and information request letters.
Business Letter Sample
After a quick understanding of the format, let’s look into some samples for learning purposes. They can be used as references while drafting company business letters too. Take a look:
Business Letter Email Writing Sample
In the above sample, we have written down a format that suits letters sent in hard copies to the concerned recipients. When we have to write the same letters in an e-mail, the order is slightly different. Below, we have described the same.
Job Application Letter
Whenever a person wants to apply for a vacant position in a company, he/she would draft an application letter for a job. A formal letter to the concerned company’s HR department shall provide a good start to the interested candidate, and he may be called for further procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the meaning of a business letter?
Any official correspondence between an individual and a company or between companies takes place in formal letters through business letters. Business letters can be sent in hard copies or via e-mail.
2. What are the different types of business letters?
There are many types of business letters depending on the matter and the parties involved. Some of them are complaint letter, order copies, job offer letter, appointment letter, sales and inquiry letters, letters of recommendation, acknowledgement letter, and reference letters.
3. What is the correct format of a business letter?
The sender’s details should be mentioned right in the beginning. This should be coupled with the right date. The recipient’s details should be mentioned, followed by the subject line. Place proper salutations or, in case of an unknown scenario, kindly address them with “To whomsoever, it may concern”. In the body of the letter, describe the reason why the letter is being written. Thank the person graciously and place your name and signature at the end.