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Business Letters

    Author:     Member Level: Gold    Points: 25 (₹ 25)

Business letters can roughly be classified under the following heads:

1.Pertaining to orders
2.Pertaining to complaints
3.Pertaining to inquires
4.Making request etc.
5.Making offer to do business etc.
6.Formal applications for a post in response to an advertisement in the press.

Parts of Business Letters:

1.Heading: It consists of the writers (or companies) mailing address and the date on which the letter is written. The address should be written at the top left-hand corner of the first page of the letter. The date should be written immediately below the address.
The date may be written in any one of the following ways:
(i)March 15, 2009
(ii)15the March, 2009
(iii)March 15th, 2009
N.B. In private and formal letters avoid such contractions as the following:

2.Inside Address: The inside address consists of the mailing address of the recipient. It should be written on the left hand side space below the date, as:
National Sales Corporation,
Bassai Road,

3.Salutation: Salutation appears at the left-hand side a couple of lines below the date. The first and last word of it and all nouns in the salutation begin with a capital letter. Sometimes names are used, when the addressee is known personally to the writer, as:
Dear Sir/Sirs or
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss + Name
When we write to firms ‘s' is added to ‘Sir' and the salutation becomes Dear Sirs.

4.Subject Heading: The subject heading is written below the salutation. It helps the dealing clerk in the quick disposal of the order or case etcetera, as:
Sub:- Supply of Scout Scarfs

5.Complimentary Close: The complimentary close is written at left-hand side a couple of lines below the last time of body of the letter, as:
Yours faithfully
Yours truly
Yours sincerely
N.B. Only the first word of the complimentary close is written in capital letter, and the last word is followed by a comma. The complimentary close should agree in style and tone with salutation.

6.Signature: The signature appears just below the complimentary close. It is generally followed by the name and the designation of the person who signs it.
N.B. Any of the following optional parts, if applicable, may be written in a business letter.

(a)Telephone number, Telegraphic address, and Reference numbers: Any one of the following may be written on the left-hand side between the writer's address and date.
(b)Enclosures (Encl.): A mention of the enclosed papers and documents, if attached separately, is made on the left hand side of the letter just below the signature.
(c)Copies (cc): If it is necessary to send a copy of the letter to a third person, this is indicated by (cc) followed by the name and address. It is written below the enclosures.

Characteristics of a Good Business letter:

1.It should be brief, clear and to the point.

2.Separate topics should be dealt with in separate paragraphs.

3.The first paragraph of each letter should clearly indicate what the rest of the letter is about.

4.Polite language and charming ways should be used for making a complaint or a criticism.

5.Your business letter should contain a paragraph, factual statement of facts.
6.Write a simple and direct language. Avoid the use of long and high sounding words and ambiguous constructions.

7.Write neatly and legibly. It shows a want of courtesy to the addressee on your part. If you write illegibly, inconvenience may result to the reader.

8.Avoid the use of such common place and clumsy expression as the following:
(a)your esteemed order
(b)begging the favour of
(c)awaiting favoured reply
(d)thanking you in anticipation
(e)your most obedient servant, etc.

Sample Usage


As the Regional Manager of a leading XYZ Textile Company, Mumbai, write a letter to the American textile Company, Madurai offering two of your products for bulk sale.

XYZ Textile Company
23rd September, 2009
The Manager
American Textile Company
Sub: Offering two of our products for bulk sale.
It's a matter of privilege to introduce ourselves that we are the manufacturers of superior kind of silk and cotton thread. Much of our valued items are exported to the customers in Saudi Arabia, Africa and America. Now we have started manufacturing hand woven garments like ladies gown and students' skirts. Several countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq have shown a great liking for students skirts and other items. Accordingly we have received orders in bulk.

Since we want to expand our business with the foreign concerns working in India, we shall be happy to hear a line from you about some of the items mentioned above. It may be in the fitness of the things to mention that we have our dealings with SBI and HDFC Bank, Mumbai. We have both export and import license too. Our factory is situated on the main road of West Mumbai and has an easy access. I hope you would like our items and send us a letter ordering for certain items.

Thanking you
Yours faithfully
Rohit Mian
Regional Manager

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