Parts of Business Letters

Parts of Business Letters

Letter Head

A letter head consists of a name and address of a firm that sends a business letter. It sometimes consists of telephone number, address of branch of offices, names of CEO. It is usually printed on the top of the paper.

Examples :


115 Downing Street




Phone     : 1499
President: Francois Carlos          Established : 1999        

Date Line

It consists of date, month, year or (month, date, year). If there is no Letter Head, make sure you put  the name of the city before the date line. Examples :

23rd November, 2017    or  November  23rd, 2017

28 July, 2017                 or    July 28, 2017

If there is no letter head in a letter, you must write a full address of the sender, example:

115 Downing Street, London

June 28th, 2017

Inside Address

It usually consists of 3 or 4 lines:

The name of a person or the firm you are   writing  to.

Number, the  name of the street

The name of city ( A country when applicable)

Examples :

Mr. Prana Pramudya

115 Downing Street


Mmes. Robert Thompson & Audrey

112, Downing Street

London E.C. 2, England

Attention Line

Business letters are usually  more addressed to companies than to one person. But, sometimes this form of written communication should take place between company and  company  or between company and a person and vice versa. In this situation we need to use what people call “attention line“. We mostly use attention line for the following three reasons :
  • We want the letter directly delivered to a certain person in a company.
  • We do not know the person’s name we are writing to and we decide to write to the company he or she works in.
  • We want the letter to reach the person we are writing to faster.
Attention line is usually put after inside address. Example:

Gifted Restaurant 
16771 Fifteen Avenue
New York, N. Y. 

Attention  :  Miss Rachel White


British Style


Dear Sir,  
Dear Sirs,  
Dear Madam,  

American Style


Dear Sir:



Dear Madam:


If you know the person you are writing to, you can use the style below which is more personal or informal:

Dear Mr. Brown,

My dear Madam Tiara,

Subject Line

Subject Line is usually capitalized and underlined:





Body of The Letter

A  good letter body should fulfill the following requirements : 

  • Concise / short : Never make up sentences just to make a letter look longer.
  • Simple : Avoid making up complex sentences. Try to make up a simple sentence. 
  • Systematic : Always put your ideas in order from A to Z. ( From opening paragraph to closing paragraph there should not be any repetitions)
Body of the Letter consists of 3 paragraphs :
  •  the opening paragraph
  •  the content paragraph
  •  the closing paragraph

Complimentary Closes

Complementary Closing usually consists of 2 lines:
  • Closing Words / Expressions
  • Name of Firm
Yours truly,
Wisnu & Ninda LTD
Truly Yours,
Wisnu & Ninda LTD

Signature Line

Business letter signature line   usually consists of   signature  of  the     person    who    writes    the 
business letter.   Below the signature we usually put our  name.  Below our name, sometimes we put
our  title  or  position  in  the  company   or institution  we work in.   Mostly,  this  is  just  to inform the
 person who has not known us before.
Examples :

Adam Williams
Customer Relation Manager



Adam Williams


Identification Initials


Identification Initials are usually used by large-sized companies for administrative purposes only. These initials mainly have two functions :
a. to give information about the secretary or the author of a business letter.
b. to provide data in case of some incidents or errors.
Identification Initials are generally put at the left-hand bottom, just after the signature line. They are sometimes put at the same line with the date line. Example :
J.B./m. h.
The identification initials mean that the author is Jack Brown and the secretary/clerk is Meredith Harrison.


Enclose Reference

When our business letter has one or more attachments, such as price list, collection letter, brochure, invoice, resume etc., we must make sure that we state it in the main letter. The statement that we send another paper other than the main letter is called enclosure reference. This enclosure reference is usually shortened as Enc. or ENC. or Inc. or Encl. or Incl..

Example :
Encl.   : 1 (one) Illustrated price list
Incl.    : 1 (one) Invoice
Enc.    : Our 2010 Catalog
Inc.     : Cheque no. 954646/B