7 Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples

Most Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples


Have you ever stared at a blank page thinking about what to write or what format you should follow to create your business message? It is not easy, is it? You have to think about which type of business letters you should write and it would depend on who you are addressing in your letter. There are a lot of things to consider and they are sometimes confusing.

Applying for a new job, expressing intent about a particular position, recommending someone, complaining about something, resigning, inviting somebody to an event, and other things like these are part of the business world. These things require professional skills to communicate your message effectively.

In the professional world, clear and concise communication is key. When you are trying to express something through a formal message, you write a business letter. There are various types of business letters and this article is just right for you to read.

We will focus on the seven most commonly used types of business letters; we will give you insights about their essential elements; and provide examples for your reference. To add more, we will share some effective tips to have an appealing business letter for you to peruse in your future business letter writings.

What are business letters and where do we use them?

Don't Ignore! 7 Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples

Business letters are simply formal letters used in business situations. In the business industry, business letters are powerful tools for transmitting information, building good relationships, and setting agreements. Business letters are helpful tools to express your intention formally whether you are applying for a position or recommending someone.

There are various situations where we can use business letters. If you are applying for a new job, you have to create and submit an impressive cover letter along with your comprehensive resume. If your boss asks you to submit a name to recommend someone for a promotion, you have to give a recommendation letter. If you have a complaint about your order, you can write a complaint letter to the seller. If you are planning to resign, a resignation letter is your best option. Whatever the situation is, there are always types of business letters that you can write.

Writing a business letter depends on your intentions. You just have to pay attention to the elements and format of the letter you are writing. Most of all, setting a professional tone in the content of your letter is necessary.


The Elements of a Business Letter


With so many types of business letters and their formats, it’s quite overwhelming that sometimes you don’t know which types of business letters are suitable for your intention. However, you should also consider the elements of your letter in a professional format.

  • Heading – this is the first part of the letter and is found at the top of the letter. 
    • Recipient’s name
    • Recipient’s title
    • Recipient’s company or organization with address
    • Recipient’s contact information
  • Salutation – this is how you address your recipient.
    • Dear Mr./Ms. Last name
    • Dear Sir/Madam
    • To whom it may concern – used when you are unsure of the name of your recipient


  • Body – includes your intention, your qualifications, degree, etc.
    • State your purpose in the first paragraph
    • Highlight your degree, qualifications, and skills
    • Include achievements or any relevant training
    • Express gratitude towards the end paragraph
    • Show appreciation for the anticipated feedback


  • Closing – a closing statement that shows politeness
    • Closing words like “Sincerely yours”
    • “Thank you”
    • “Best regards”
    • “Kind regards”
    • “Respectfully yours”

Your name and title follow the closing statements.

Most Commonly Used Types of Business Letters

In this part of the article, we are going to introduce the top seven types of business letters that are commonly used in business situations. After reading, you can decide what type you want to use depending on your intended message and purpose for writing.

  1. Cover Letter Don't Ignore! 7 Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples

This type of business letter introduces you to a potential employer and highlights your skills and qualifications for a specific job opening. You write a cover letter when you apply for a job and it is usually attached to your detailed resume.

A cover letter contains a summary of your experiences and achievements, mostly relevant to the position you are applying for. You also express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to be contacted and interviewed.

We recommend using a block format when writing a cover letter. A full-block-style cover letter’s elements are aligned on the left side. Below is an example of a cover letter for a job application.

Example of a Cover letter

More cover letter examples can be found in our articles on this website.

  1. Recommendation Letter

    Don't Ignore! 7 Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples

As the name itself says, a recommendation letter is one of the types of business letters that intends to endorse someone for a particular position. This time, you don’t talk about yourself or your qualifications, but you talk about a specific person who you want to recommend. The recommendation can either be a promotion, a project leader, or a deserving employee to be awarded.

Just like other types of business letters, a recommendation letter follows a specific format. Most parts of the letter are written in third-person form. The content of the letter should focus on highlighting the relevant information about the person you are endorsing.

A block-style format is highly recommended in this letter as well. You indicate the person’s work ethic, work relationship, and potential for the success of the organization.

Here is an example of a recommendation letter for somebody’s promotion.

Example of a Recommendation Letter

  1. Letter of Intent

The letter of intent is a general type of business letter where you express a strong interest in a job, a program, an opportunity, or special requests (usually internal).

Unlike the cover letter, the letter of intent does not necessarily outline your full qualifications and specific skills or achievements, but it is better to highlight them briefly. In the letter of intent, you introduce yourself confidently and explain briefly why you are fit for the position or your reason for being interested in a specific opportunity.

Here’s an example of a Letter of Intent for purchasing a new item.

Example Letter of Intent

  1. Resignation Letter Don't Ignore! 7 Commonly Used Types of Business Letters with Detailed Examples

One of the most common types of business letters is a resignation letter. The purpose of this is to officially and formally inform your employer that you are leaving the company at a specific point in time.

The resignation letter is addressed to the HR manager and sometimes includes the employee’s direct superior, but is not necessary. It depends on the company’s resignation process. The primary details in a resignation letter are (1) effective date, (2) reason for leaving, (3) appreciation for the chance to work in the company, and (4) offering assistance for transition.

Here’s an example of a Resignation letter

  1. Complaint Letter

Reporting an issue with a product, service, or delivery? It is more formal to express it in a complaint letter. Set a respectful tone as you explain the details of your complaint. Be as specific as you can. Your addressee will not ask you further clarifications and questions about your complaint if you state it in a well-detailed letter.

Below is an example of a complaint letter about a debited bank account.

Example of Complaint Letter

  1. Formal Invitation Letter

This type of business letter is written when you want to invite a prominent person to an event. A formal invitation letter must be well-formatted and polite in tone. The letter must contain well-detailed information about the event including the date, venue, time, and program so the person you invited can set a schedule for it.

This formal invitation letter example may be of great help for your future use.

Example of a Formal Invitation Letter

  1. Acceptance Letter

An acceptance letter is a formal letter sent as a positive response to an application to a certain educational institution, company, or other opportunity. The purpose of the letter is to formally inform the receiver that they have been accepted. The letter usually contains details about the position or program including the start date, description, and financial obligations.

Here’s an example of an acceptance letter for a scholarship grant.

Acceptance Letter Example

The letters mentioned in this article are commonly used in business situations. Now that you have an idea about the types of business letters, you can finally decide what specific letter you are going to use in your business message.

Remember, this is just a starting point. Set the tone and content for your specific message and receiver. With the right format and content, your business letters will communicate effectively and achieve your desired outcome.

types of business letters in English

How to write an appealing business letter?

Are you applying for a new job or an educational scholarship? Are you thinking about how to write an effective business letter in English? Don’t worry. Below are tips for writing an appealing business letter.

  • Focus on your purpose; have a clear reason. – Know the type of letter you want to send so you can focus on your purpose and why you are writing that letter. Be direct to the point. Ask yourself the following questions: 
    • Why do I want to write this letter?
    • Who do I want to send this letter to?
    • What information or response am I expecting to receive after?
  • Use formal and appropriate words. – There are words in English that are only appropriate in business contexts. A business letter should contain words that are formal and appropriate to make the tone more professional.
  • Easy to read and comprehend. – Write your letter comprehensibly so that your reader will be able to easily understand it. Observe proper paragraphing and transitions.
  • Use standard font styles and sizes. The standard font styles are Times New Roman and Arial and the standard font size for all types of business letters is 12.
  • Pay attention to formatting, spacing, and indentation. A modified block style format is a commonly used format nowadays for writing business letters. A business letter is single-spaced in each paragraph, and double-spaced between each paragraph, with a 1-inch indentation on all sides. The standard document type is set to Letter (8” X 11”) or A4 size.
  • Proofread several times. Always make it a habit to re-read your letter many times to check for any errors like grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, word choices, and formatting. If you are not confident, you can ask a colleague or friend to proofread your letter for you for clarity and impact. Don’t forget to sign your letter.


A professional letter reflects your brand or individual image, so make it your best impression!

The result of an appealing business letter

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