How to write a business letter
Business letter: the beginning
A. Your company name followed by all contact details (including address, telephone, fax, company website url and email).
B. Recipient’s address (including their name and title if you know it).
C. Date on the right- or left-hand side of the page.
D. If required, add the file references, both yours and the recipient’s (use ‘Ref’as an abbreviation for ‘reference’).
Business letter: the content
E. The greeting.
Casual: Dear [first name and surname] Formal: Dear Mr [surname], for a man, or Dear Ms [surname] for a woman. If you don’t know the name of the recipient, use Dear Sir or Madam or Dear Sir/Madam.
F. Stating the subject of the letter using Re (used as an abbreviation for regarding).
G. Here are some options for starting your letter:
I would like to enquire about (or whether) …
I am writing regarding …
I am writing in response to …
I am writing to inform you that/of …
I am writing to complain about …
Further to my letter of 15th May…
H. The details of the letter are to be added at this point.
Business letter: the end
I. Here are expressions you can use to end a business letter.
Please let me know if …
I look forward to receiving your reply.
Thank you in advance for your help.
I would be most grateful if you could inform me …
J. For a casual ending, use Regards or Best wishes. A formal ending (if you know the recipient), use Sincerely or Yours sincerely. A formal ending (if you don’t know the recipient): Yours truly or Yours faithfully.
pp: indicates the letter was signed on behalf of someone else
cc: these people have received a copy of the letter
enc: documents are enclosed with this letter