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Standard Business Letter Format

Standard Business Letter Format
If you are looking for a standard business letter format that will help you draft professional and effective letters, read the article below.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
We may have reached the era of e-mail communication, however, many organizations still prefer to use a typed professional business letter format. A well crafted letter printed on the company's letterhead proves to be an effective communication method. But to draft one correctly, you need to know the standard business letter format that oozes professionalism. This is what you will learn in the paragraphs to come along with the basic rules of professional letter writing.

Standard Business Letter Format

A professional format has to be learned by students, those looking for jobs, as well those who are working. This is because at some point or the other in one's life, one needs to draft a standard business letter. There are two types of formats commonly used in United States. These include the full block and the modified formats.

Full Block

It is for that type of letter where all the essential elements of a letter are present. The letter is written is a left justified format and each line starts with a left hand margin. This is a formal a standard format and the most commonly used letter writing style.

Indented

The modified block or indented format is a type of letter where some essential parts of the letter are written in right justified format.

According to the proper style, you need use a 8½" by 11" unlined paper for drafting your letter. You need to use a 1" margin on all four sides of the paper. The type of font to be used for a standard business letter is Times Roman (1 point) or Georgia (11 point). You need to keep the letter single spaced and the letter should be printed only on one side of the paper.

Sender's Return Address

The first thing to type in your business letter format is the return address of the sender. Keep in mind, your name here comes right at the bottom, where you sign. You directly begin with your return address.

Date of Letter

Once you complete typing in the address of the sender, you need to type the date under it. You can write the date in two ways. First, you can either type in the date without comma: 28 September 2010. Second method, you can either begin with the month and use comma: September 1, 2010.

Recipients Name and Address

After adding the date, you need to give double enter and begin writing the complete name of the recipient. You need to use 'Mr.' for a male recipient and 'Ms.' for a female recipient. In case of doctors, use 'Dr.'. On the next line, type in the title of the recipient, if you are aware of their designation. For example, HR Manager, Head of the Department, Botany, etc. This is followed by the complete address on the next line.

Salutation

You need to begin writing the letter with the proper salutations. For example, Dear Mr. Perry. The name should be followed with a colon (:).

Body of the Letter

This is the most important part. It is supposed to be written short, and to the point. Do not type in unnecessary information, as no one has the time to read it. The body should be just about 3 to, a maximum of, four single spaced paragraphs. Between paragraphs, you need to use double space. The body of the letter is where you discuss business and put forth your proposal or give information. Therefore, make sure you use correct grammar and check for spelling errors.

Closing

The letter needs to be ended with a formal closing like Sincerely. Business letter closing should be followed by a comma and then skip four single lines. Once this is done, you can type in your name. The four single line space is for your signature.

Enclosure

If you are to enclose some brochures, quotations, certificates, reports, based on your letter above, you need to mention it here. After you finish typing your name, you need to skip two single lines. Then type in Enclosure(s). Then place a colon(:) after enclosure. On the next line, give the list of enclosed items in bullets.

Template

Standard Business Letter Template
Senders Address
City, State, Zip Code
Senders Phone Number
Senders Email Address

Date

Recipients Name
Recipients Title
Recipients Company
Recipients Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Body of standard business letter is to be short, simple and to the point. The purpose of the letter should be clearly written. The first paragraph of standard business letter should be written as an introduction as to why you are writing.

The second and third paragraph (if required) should be able to elaborate and provide more detailed information about your request or purpose of writing.

The last paragraph should repeat the reason of writing and this is where you thank the reader for reviewing your request.

Sincerely or Respectfully yours,
Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)
Typed Name

You can find many standard business letter examples on various websites on the Internet. Choose the format that suits your requirements and draft your letter on these lines. Do not copy paste the standard ones from websites. Instead, use them to draft your own individual, unique letter. Hope, the above template has helped you.