What Is a Business Letter and What Is It Used for?


A business letter is one generally sent from a company to its clients or to its fellow companies. The exact specifics can vary depending on the letter’s intent, but like business email salutations, a level of professionalism and etiquette is expected, as befitting an official, document like this.

As for the objectives of a business letter, there are any number of objectives. Those objectives can encompass any message a company might have to send to anyone with whom it does business one way or another. The bottom line is that there are as many reasons for sending a business letter as any other.


Reasons for Using Them

Specifically, if you were to use business letters in Word, or some similar tool, some of the reasons for doing so could include:

  • Responding to a previous letter from another party, such as another company.
  • Placing orders from their business partners.
  • Requesting a meeting with the other party for various reasons.
  • Making a business proposal with a potential partner.
  • Apologizing for some previous action the company was responsible for.
  • Asking for specific action from another party, such as requesting some kind of item or that the other party perform some action.

Types of Business Letter

As there are many reasons for using a business letter, it follows that there are different types of letters, as you may see in some sample business letters, some of which include:

  • Follow-up letters, which are letters intended to follow up on a previously sent letter in request for an update.
  • Letters of resignation, which are letters penned by employees informing their superiors of an intention to resign from the company.
  • Sales letters, which are informative letters meant to inform customers of a new product or service with a call to action.
  • Cover letters, which are letters used by job applicants to announce their intentions to apply for a position in the company.


Guidelines Concerning Business Letters

When using your own business letter examples, there are some tips that could help you when making your own letters. After all, there are a number of things to consider in your business letter formats, enough that you may need advice to help optimize the use of your tools.

  • Remember to stay on point. Your letters are written for specific purposes, so it is important that you keep those purposes in mind so as to keep the attention of your recipient.
  • Watch out for your grammar. Your documents will reflect the entity that sent them, so it is important to avoid any grammar mistakes so as to maintain your professionalism.
  • Be polite. This is a given in most professional settings. After all, a certain level of etiquette will be expected, so it is wise to remain civil at all times.
  • Be professional. It is important that your language be as professional as possible so that your correspondents can take you and your letter seriously.

These are only some things to keep in mind when writing and using business letters, as the writing can be fairly complicated, but these tips can definitely help you when making your own.

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