How to format business letters.
Learn how to write a business letter according to the most common formatting conventions.
Business letters play a significant part in professional communication between companies and their clients. To make them as simple to read as possible, business letters use strict formatting rules.
Parts of a business letter.
- Letterhead or sender’s address. Start with your letterhead or, if you’re not using one, your address.
- Recipient’s address. Address your letter to a specific person. Use the appropriate personal title, like “Mr.” or “Ms.” If appropriate, use the correct professional title, such as “Hon.” or “Commissioner.”
- Salutation. Use the personal title and last name of the recipient, or their full name if you’re unsure of their gender (“Dear Mr. Black” or “Dear Jamie Smith”). For professional titles, use the correct title and the last name (“Dear Dr. Jones”). If you personally know the recipient, you can use their first name (“Dear Jim”).
- Body. Make sure your letter is concise and to the point.
- Closing. Reiterate your main point and thank the recipient for their consideration. Close with a respectful salutation on a new line, such as “Sincerely yours,” followed by your signature and typed name.
- Enclosures. List any enclosed documents.
Business letter formatting.
Block style is the most common business letter format, with:
- A standard professional typeface and font size, such as Times New Roman in 12 point
- Left justification throughout
- Single-spaced lines, double space between paragraphs
- Colon after salutation, comma after closing salutation
Share your letters as PDFs.
You can use free templates to help you write a business letter. However, these templates often come as PDFs and can’t be easily edited. Adobe Acrobat DC lets you convert the template PDF to an editable Word file. You can also convert PDFs to Word with Acrobat online services.
Once you’ve written your letter, convert it back to PDF with Acrobat DC to make sure your recipient can read it with any device. You can complete this task online as well.
Discover what more you can do with Acrobat DC to convert, sign, and share PDFs.