Operating a successful business relies heavily on your company's ability to communicate effectively. In an age of e-mail and text messages, it is easy to overlook the importance of a well-constructed business letter. As with each section of a business letter, there is a specific format for the complimentary close and signature. Since collaboration is commonplace, you will often find it necessary to include two signatures. There are rules for the proper placement of dual signatures.
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Type your complimentary close two spaces below the conclusion of the letter's body. The complimentary close is the verbiage that precedes the signature such as "Sincerely" and "Respectfully yours." Depending on the letter format you select, the complimentary close will line up with the heading of the letter. Block formatting is a common business practice. In this case, the complimentary close will set against the left margin. Always capitalise the first letter of the close and end the close with a comma.
Type first full name including a middle initial four spaces directly below the complimentary close. Type the business title directly below the name. The space between the complimentary close and the typed name is reserved for the signature. It is customary to produce signatures in blue or black ink only.
Type the second name and business title in the same manner as the first. Do not create a second complimentary closing. There are two widely accepted options for the placement of a second signature. First, you may place the second signature below the first. You may also place the second signature using the same lines as the first, but indented to the centre of the page.
Tips and warnings
- Placement of a second signature depends upon the relationship of the first signatory to the second signatory. The side-by-side approach is more commonly used if the two signatories are of equal status but from different companies or organisations. The top-and-bottom approach is typically used if one signatory holds a higher position than the second signatory, such as president and vice president.
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