Business Letter Formats

There is a generally required format for most business letters. Basically, a business letter must include a return address (this could be a letterhead, or your name and address), the date, the receiver’s name and address, a salutation, letter body paragraphs and a closing. However, you can format this information in several accepted ways. For example, return addresses can be placed in the center, or begin at the left margin or even begin at the horizontal center of the page. These are what business letter formats are all about.

There are four basic business letter formats.

  1. Full Block: In this format, all letter parts begin at the left margin.
  2. Modified Block Indented Paragraphs: In this format, the date, signature, and closing begins at the horizontal center of the page. The body paragraphs are indented.
  3. Blocked Paragraphs: Date, signature, and closing are written to begin at the horizontal center of the page. Begin all body paragraphs at the left margin.
  4. Simplified: All letter parts begin at the left margin in this format. You can include a subject line in this format but omit the salutation and signature. That’s the ideal for this format.

Business letter formats will be demonstrated below

Block Form

5 Valley Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53232

March 15, 2010

 

Ms. Agnes Billy
President
Billy Goat Firm
89 Winnows Lane
Tampa, Florida, 31234

 

Dear Ms. Billy

This letter will be used to demonstrate the block format. This is one of the two most common business letter formats. While some school of thoughts advocate for skipping a line after your return address and before the date, some letter writing guidelines suggest that there is no need for that. Whichever choice you make will not matter provided the letter is well written to achieve your goals.

Writing a business letter using block form requires that you type all information to left, using one-inch margin all around. Provide your own address first, then skip a line to provide the date, then after you skip yet another line, provide the inside address of the party you are addressing the letter to. If you are using letterhead with your address printed on it, you do not need to retype that information. Begin with the date instead. Do your best possible to avoid abbreviations when writing formal letters.

Skip another line and then follow with a salutation. Then go ahead to write the body of your letter as is illustrated here. No indentation is required at the beginnings of paragraphs. Also skip lines between paragraphs.

Now you’re done with the body of the letter, it’s time for the closing. Closings such as “Yours Sincerely” should be followed by a comma, 3 more blank lines, then your name and title (if applicable), of course keeping all flushing left. Inset your signature in the blank space you just created above your typed name.

Sincerely,

Jerry Malley

Director of Administration

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Gift for Community Development

Indented Form

 

5 Valley Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53232

March 15, 2010

 

Ms. Agnes Billy
President
Billy Goat Firm
89 Winnows Lane
Tampa, Florida, 31234

 

Dear Ms. Billy:

The indented business letter format is also one of the two most common formats.

Just as it appears with the block format, there is no consensus about whether to skip a line after your return   address and before the date. You may actually choose to, or not. The most important thing is to make enough points in your letter to inspire the desired actions.

 

If you are using the indented form, your address should be placed at the top, making the left edge of the address align with the center of the page. Skip a line and type the date underneath your address.  The inside address and salutation should flush left. Follow the salutation with a

Colon. Again, remember to avoid abbreviations in all formal letters

 

Indent the first line of every paragraph by one-half inch. Also skip lines between the paragraphs.

Unlike the block format letters, you flush the typed closing and signature lines to the center. Create the usual line and finish up your professionally written indented business letter.

 

Sincerely,

Jerry Malley

Director of Administration

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Sample Business Letters

The last two letter formats will be demonstrated in real life letters, using the blocked paragraph and the simplified formats

Blocked Paragraphs Form

Peter Devon

CFO

Devon and Mekas Inc.

321 Anywhere Drive

Somecity, Best State 82719

2/2/2012

 

Brent Sodoh

President

Built Solid LLC

123 Somewhere Street

Someville, Best State 80089

 

Dear Mr. Sodoh,

We are submitting this letter of intent to express our intention to purchase your business Built Solid LLC, its inventory and other assets. We are envisaging the principal terms of the proposed transactions to be as follows.

We would acquire Built Solid LLC including its facilities located at 123 Somewhere Street, its machinery, brand, logo, brand equity and customer lists. We would also acquire all the office and field equipment, as well as the inventory. We would also assume the company’s current outstanding debt of $100,000.

We would require, as part of this letter of intent, that you cease shopping for other potential buyers for at least 60 days to allow  us some time to complete due diligence and finalize the agreement. We also require that our intent to purchase be kept confidential until after we have completed the purchase agreement and can issue a joint press release.

Please not that this letter is not an official purchase agreement. All the terms and conditions of the proposed transaction would be included in the Purchase Agreement, and will be negotiated, agreed and executed by both parties.

If we are selected as a prospective buyer of your company, we anticipate every process from the selection date to the closing to take a 45 days period to complete.

Sincerely,

 

Peter Devon

Devon and Mekas LLC

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Simplified Style Form

Sharon Perkins

42 Dewey Drive, Apt #65

Salt Lake City, Utah 27392

23 October 2015

 

Lugar Martins

42 Dewey Drive, Apt #1

Salt Lake City, Utah 27392

 

Re: Notice of intent to vacate

This letter notifies you of my intention of leaving my apartment by the 23rd of November 2015, which also is the end of my current lease.

I am leaving because of the new rent increase, which was conveyed in your written notice on the 23rd of September 2015. I feel that the new increase is outrageous, in comparison with what is obtainable and what the house offers.

I expect that my security deposit of $1000, which was given to you on 22nd of May, 2015 will be refunded to me in full, since there are no damages whatsoever on the apartment. A Walk through will on an agreed date will confirm this.

I can be reached at 555-5555-555 after the 23rd of November.

Sharon Perkins

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