Business letters are a form of written communication used by business professionals and individuals to express concerns, extend gratitude or make announcements. They are usually in a block format, so that the text appears left-justified with one space in between each line to separate the sections of the letter and paragraphs in the letter. Business letters have a typical format that includes six key sections. Creating a properly formatted business letter means paying special attention to the spacing in each section.
At the top of your business letter, include the date your letter is written. The date should be written with the month spelt out, followed by the two- or one-digit day of the month, then a comma and the four-digit year. After the date, include a single-line space.
Include your mailing address, city, state and postcode. This step is optional, but recipients might find it helpful to have your mailing address if they need to reply to your letter. If you are printing your letter using letterhead, you can omit this section since your letterhead probably includes your mailing information.
The recipient's full mailing address, including their name and title, city, state and zip code, go directly under the sender's address. Leave one single-line space between the two sections. If you don't have your recipient's name, include the name of the business or organisation you're writing to instead.
Include a single-line space after the recipient's address and prepare your salutation. Use proper business letter etiquette and include the recipient's appropriate title and name, if you know it. If you're sending a letter to a business, but don't know specifically who should receive it, it's appropriate to write "Dear Sir or Madame." Put a single-line space after the salutation and prepare to begin the body of your business letter.
The body of a business letter should include a general introduction and continue with the content of the letter. The number of paragraphs can range depending on the depth of the subject. Include a single-line space between each paragraph. Do not indent the paragraphs, if you're following a standard block format. At the end of your last paragraph, include a single-line space and write the closing section of your letter.
Business letters usually close with "Sincerely," or "Thanks," followed by four single-line spaces. After the four spaces, type your name and title. Use the space above your typed name and title for your signature. Sign the letter with blue or black ink.
If an executive has his assistant type a letter on his behalf, the assistant should include a single space after the signature line, and then the typist should include her initials.
If you plan to include other documents with your business letter, make the reader aware by typing "Enclosures" at the bottom of your letter after the closing.
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