How to write a business letter

Business letter in English; registration, types of correspondence and a sample letter

How to write a business letter in English: simple rules

Of course, email is the fastest and most convenient way to exchange routine business messages with English-speaking partners, but the classic "paper" business letter is still the preferred and solid way to convey important information.

A carefully crafted letter printed on stylish letterhead can be a powerful business communication tool. Perhaps it is not worth explaining that the impression of a letter, even with the most tempting commercial proposal, can be spoiled if its appearance does not correspond to the generally accepted one.

To ensure that each letter under your company logo meets the requirements for a format that is considered the standard for business correspondence in the English-speaking environment, follow these guidelines for writing a business letter in English:

Rule # 1: Divide the text of the letter into blocks.

When you receive your next letter from a foreign colleague, have you ever paid attention to the fact that it is very easy to "read"? The secret of its clarity and consistency is simple: today, all English-language business documents use a block structure.

It is believed that this principle of structuring information is best suited to the needs and demands of a modern super-busy person and helps to cope with the continuous flow of business correspondence.

Firstly, you can save time at the stage of composing a letter by collecting it, like a constructor, from separate semantic blocks - "Sender's address", "Date", "Recipient's address", "Greeting", "Header "," Ending ", etc. Secondly, by opening such a "block" letter, the recipient can quickly navigate its content.

The block structure provides the following design features:

  • the entire text of the letter is divided into paragraphs with a single indentation between them;
  • the red line is not used;
  • the punctuation is open, i.e. non-functional periods and commas are missing;
  • alignment is done to the left.

Rule # 2: Write in simple and understandable language.

In the business world, correspondence plays a huge role. Starting from commercial offers and ending with the sending of invoices and invoices. Currently, almost all business correspondence is conducted in electronic form, but this does not change the generally accepted rules for business letters, even if they are electronic. Let's figure out how to write a business letter in English correctly.

Business letter - business letter

Basic types of business letters

There are still a huge number of types and subtypes of business messages (Order, Response to Order, Invoice, Statement etc.), and it will take more than one article to pay attention to most of them.

Rules for composing a business letter

There aren't really many rules. It will not be difficult for a person with average knowledge of English to compose it, no matter how difficult it may seem. Most importantly, the letter is made up of blocks. This structure allows you to quickly read information. And here everyone, both the recipient and the sender, saves time. The sender collects blocks together: the sender's address, date, recipient's address, appeal, introduction, etc. And the recipient already knows where the basic information is and gets acquainted with it.

Also, the block structure implies a number of features:

  • the body of the letter is built from paragraphs with a single indent;
  • there is no red line;
  • all text is aligned to the left.

The second feature is that you do not need to write too ornate phrases. The sentences are simple and concise.

Components of a business letter

And now we will analyze the so-called skeleton of a business letter, its structure and arrangement of elements:

  • Header (header):
  • Sender's address - in the upper left corner. If the form is corporate, then the address has already been affixed.
  • The recipient's address is on the left, below the sender's address. Format: from smallest to largest (Name, house number, street, city, zip code, country).
  • Date - three lines below the recipient's address or in the upper right corner. Format: day/month/year. No commas are used.
  • Greeting (appeal), or how to start a letter.
  • The main idea (the main text of the message) is in the central part of the letter.
  • Final phrase (expression of gratitude and further intentions). Final courtesy formula; Signature; Name, surname and title of the sender.
  • Attachment - indicates that the letter contains additional materials (advertising booklet or brochure).
  • May contain postscript, artist initials.

Sample Letter

Nowadays, business letters printed on paper and designed on letterhead are almost never used. Most of the correspondence migrated to e-mail, social networks and instant messengers. But this does not mean that a business letter has become obsolete.

In any correspondence, you must adhere to certain rules. Moreover, the norms differ depending on where the communication takes place and who is the addressee. We have prepared a material in which we will analyze the main types of business letters and the rules that should be followed in business correspondence.

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What is a business letter

Currently, this category includes all letters and messages related to commercial activities, organizational and current issues of the company. If earlier, when writing a business letter, they adhered to strict rules, now you need to adapt the style to the situation and take into account the specifics of the communication channel.

Follow the general rules of business correspondence:

  • Neutral tone of communication. No familiarity, rudeness, or excessive courtesy.
  • Concise and clear information. Long introductions or vague language are not needed. Rely on facts, present the essence of the message without water and redundant information. The recommended length is no more than one page, the rest of the information should be transferred to the application and attached as a file.
  • An exact definition of the addressee, if the message is directed to a specific person.
  • Clear structure. A solid sheet of text is perceived poorly.
  • The text size is adapted to the communication channel. You shouldn't send multiple messages in the messenger or send an email that is several screens long.
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms and slang, especially if this is the first time the email is being sent. The exception is highly specialized correspondence.
  • Do not start chatting outside of business hours. This is considered bad taste.
  • Be clear about the sender and any available communication channels.

Depending on the addressee and the purpose for which the business letter was made, the following types can be distinguished:

  • Cooperation proposals. Most often this is a document of the established form. It can be the same for all addressees (circular) or personalized. In this case, a specific person or position is indicated (for example, "Head of the supply department").
  • Business correspondence with partners. With its help, all current issues are solved, requests are made and problems that arise in the process of work are solved.
  • Letters to clients. You can inform them about new arrivals of goods, promotions, etc. Most often, a customer base is formed, according to which the mailing is carried out.
  • Correspondence with authorities, pre-trial warnings, solution of legal issues.

Letters can be addressed to a specific employee or manager, or be general in nature. They are also divided into those that require an answer, and those that do not need to be answered.

How to use in the modern world

Business etiquette extends not only to human behavior in society during personal communication between people, but also establishes the rules that must be followed in written communication. How to conduct business correspondence correctly and in accordance with the requirements is of interest to everyone who is involved in professional activities or actively interacts with various authorities, resolving their issues, for example, as a consumer of a service.

The advantages of business correspondence over other types of information transfer

Despite the fact that preparing business letters takes time to write them, this form of communication has undeniable advantages.

  • They can be used to transmit important official and confidential information if it cannot be communicated orally.
  • Created messages can persist for a long time, you can return to them and re-examine the content.
  • A letter can be sent simultaneously to several recipients with the same text, which allows you to significantly save time for preparing and sending letters on the same topic.

Types of business correspondence

Business correspondence is a type of business communication carried out in writing for the exchange of information of an official and business nature.

The very concept of the officiality of a correspondence means the presence of official or other business information in it, which for some reason cannot be transmitted to the addressee orally or unofficially. By sending an official communication, its author emphasizes his businesslike attitude to the topic. At the same time, he must either represent the organization, indicating all the relevant details, or speak on his own behalf, signing with his real surname, name and patronymic, and providing his location data or contacts for further information exchange.

Classification of business correspondence

Business messages can be classified according to various reasons.

Depending on whether the letter goes outside one organization, there are two types of it:

According to the purpose of a business message, correspondence is divided into the following types.

  • Information letter.
  • Message letter.
  • Application letter.
  • Request letter.
  • Offer letter.
  • Invitation letter.
  • Sales letter.
  • Reminder letter.
  • Claim letter.
  • Letter of guarantee.
  • Reference letter.
  • Label letters.

One source of quick communication in the workplace is email. This way of transmitting and receiving information is an important part of the interaction between colleagues, management and subordinates, partners and others. For effective communication of interlocutors and observance of subordination, it is necessary to take into account the rules of business correspondence by e-mail.

Why uniform email rules are needed

Business interaction has almost completely moved to the Internet space. Well-written and well-formed letters emphasize the company's reputation, become its business card and allow employees to accurately understand the information presented.

The basic rules of business electronic communication are as follows:

  • accuracy and punctuality in the exchange of information;
  • respectful attitude to the opponent and his business position;
  • observance of the principles of confidentiality.

Unified standards for writing an electronic appeal take into account the possibility of correct display on various equipment - stationary PCs or mobile devices.

Sample Business Letters

Internet correspondence allows you to quickly resolve various commercial issues. Conventionally, all correspondence is divided into several categories depending on the content and purpose of interaction with the addressee.


This type of correspondence is a non-commercial correspondence in order to inform the addressee, for example, about the validity or termination of the contract, about the specifics of the company's activities, the range of products or services provided, personnel changes and planned events.

Notices are used as an effective marketing tool to:

  • network promotion of goods or brand;
  • attracting customers or partners;
  • increasing sales.

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