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Parts of a Business Letter

Parts of a Business Letter

Are you looking for a business letter format? Do you know what are the parts of a business letter? This article describes how to write one. Keep reading...
Leena Palande
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Employees of a business organization, often need to interchange information or ideas, with people outside the organization. To maintain good and permanent business relationships, they need to learn the art of letter writing. They need to be familiar with letter drafting or proper business letter format.

Kids learn about letter writing in their school years. Some might think that following a fixed format for a formal letter, is an unnecessary fuss. However, this is not the case. The letter or rather the communicated matter represents the organization and its people, which helps to build up a particular impression about the organization, its staff, its business ethics, etc. in the minds of the people. Thus a letter is basically an important tool of communication, and you can use it efficiently if you know how it is written. Parts of a business letter are same, anywhere you go. The format, content, font, font size may vary, but the parts of the letter are similar.

Main Constituents of a Business Letter
  • Address of the Writer or Return Address: While writing a business letter, you should write your name, address and designation, contact number, e-mail address first. This comprises the heading of the letter. This is written at the left hand side upper corner of the letter. The letter heading is quite significant, as the reader discovers your identity through it. This is the first part of the letter, from where reader starts reading the letter.
  • Date : It is customary and convenient to write the date after the writer's name, address and designation. Writing the date is not a formality, but it is useful in filing the letter for further reference. The date on which the letter is written and posted is significant in legal matters.
  • Name and Address of the Addressee: The name and address of the addressee follow your name and address. These two addresses are beneficial, in case the letter is misplaced, during transit or after filing or before posting.
  • Salutation: An appropriate salutation conveys respect and pleases the reader. A simple 'dear sir' or 'dear madam', can serve the purpose.
  • Main Body of the Letter: This is comparatively the biggest and main part of the letter, that comprises three small paragraphs. Through the first 2 - 3 lines, you should be able to introduce the topic of the letter. In the second paragraph, you are expected to describe the purpose of writing the letter, with transparency of facts and in the least possible number of lines. A business letter should always be written in a good flow. In the third paragraph, you should be able to conclude in one or two lines. Remember, the main body of the letter can be of one or two paragraphs also depending upon the situation.
  • Complimentary Closing/Conclusion: A closing or a conclusion is the last part of the letter, where you are supposed to sign off. Closing part of the letter contains some greeting or a compliment, such as "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the cooperation that you have extended".
Professional Business Letter Template

Several professional business letter formats are followed by people, according to their convenience. The following simple format template illustrates the parts of a business letter for kids, who are learning it for the first time.

Name and Address of the Writer: ___________________
E-mail address: ______________________
Telephone Number: ___________________
Date: ___________________

Name and Address of the Addressee


Main Body: Reference or Introduction

Purpose of writing: Description


Yours Sincerely,
Your Signature
Your Name

The following example will explain to you more clearly how to write a formal letter.

Mr. Philip Martins
Associate Vice President
ABC Construction Company
245, Walnut Street,
Prattville, AZ 85789
(602) 555-5555
Date: July 10, 2010

Mr. John M. Clinton
Chief Executive Officer
ABC Corporation
125 Easy Street
Wellsville OH 12345

Dear John,

This is with reference to our meeting on 5th July, at which we agreed to hold a weekly meeting over the next two months to review your experiences with the pilot implementation of the 1to1 Customer Relationship Management Program.

As resolved in that meeting, the objectives of our meetings will be to:
  • Review and evaluate the overall success of the program.
  • Discover and discuss strengths and weaknesses of the program.
  • Propose customer-focused solutions to strengthen the program.
  • Develop a modified approach and future plan for the next phase of the project.
  • Design the team structure and objectives for the Phase 2.
As agreed, meeting will be held every Monday from 10:00 a.m. until noon, in our corporate office, the first one to be convened here on July 23rd , 2010. Henry Carver of your SEO group is to act as the meeting coordinator and recording secretary throughout the process. Linda Graves of ASP group will present the summary report for review before the steering committee. As per your request, a copy of her C.V. has been enclosed.

I believe I have explained all the points that we discussed. If you have any doubts or would like to suggest anything, please give me a call on 745-9878.

We look forward to seeing you at the July 23rd meeting.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,
Philip Martins

This was a sample business letter illustrating the important parts of a business letter. Language of the letter is as important as its parts. A reader will always appreciate a short and crispy letter which is pleasant to read and grasp.