How to Write a Request Refusal Letter

Written by natalie smith
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How to Write a Request Refusal Letter
Be careful with the tone and organisation of the refusal letter. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Few moments are more awkward for a businessperson than having to turn down a request. Whether that request is from an employee asking for a raise or from a client asking for a refund, professionals don't like to say no because negative responses create hard feelings that can affect your future business. However, sometimes you must write a letter refusing a request. When executed properly, the denial letter doesn't have to create hard feelings; it can let someone down easily and retain their goodwill under most circumstances.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the business letter by typing the full date, skipping a space, and then the recipient's name, title, and address. Do not omit this information because refusal letters may resurface in court and you will need to refer to specific detail. If you are using company letterhead, you do not need to type your address.

  2. 2

    Begin the letter by typing "Dear Mr./Ms. (Name):"; do not omit the "Dear" because this salutation is less abrupt than just typing the recipient's name. As a result, this may help soften any negative feelings that the letter will cause.

  3. 3

    Begin the letter by thanking the client or employee for his or her business or interest. If applicable, include a few words about how your business strives to satisfy all of its clients or a few words about how many deserving applicants or requests you will have to turn down.

  4. 4

    Relay the news that you cannot accommodate the person's request, or that the applicant was not selected for the position. Create a new paragraph for this information; this information should never go in the first paragraph because the recipient will stop reading the letter and all opportunity to retain goodwill will be lost.

  5. 5

    Close the letter by thanking the person for his or her business or interest. If the recipient is a business client and you can offer an alternate offer or discount, emphasise this positive information rather than the fact that you can't meet the original request. If you're responding to a job application, wish the person luck in the future.

  6. 6

    Type "Sincerely," skip three line spaces and type your full name and title. Print the letter and sign in the space above your name.

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