Formal Letter Format – Writing Style, How to Write & Sample Format

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

A formal letter is an official or business letter written in a prescribed format with the intent of delivering the message in a clear form with all the relevant facts and information. There are various types of formal letters that can vary as per your agenda and usage. The most commonly used formal letter format is explained below.

We live in a world where the majority of our conversations are in the form of email and messages. Every professional and a work-related message is in the form of an email which is to be written in a formal letter. Whether you wish to file a complaint or make an order, you must know how to write a formal letter.

Read the complete article to learn how to write a formal letter. Complete formal letter writing format in English is explained below in detail.

As we have established that formal letter is to be written in a predefined format and design. You can also refer to the formal letter sample and example for better understanding and clarity.

Format of Formal Letter Writing

How to write a Formal Letter? Follow the below sample format for writing it.

Sender’s Address

This is the beginning of the formal letter. You must write the complete address in the right top corner of the letter. The address must be complete and clear. It must involve all the fields like House no/plot no, street name, city, state, postal code, etc. The address mentioned in the formal letter must be your postal address.

The intention of mentioning the Sender’s Address in the formal letter is to let the recipient know the address for further communication.


The date is written just below the sender’s address on the right side of the page. You can also write it on the left side of the page. You can notice the variation here. It is ok to write it on either side of the letter.

The date mentioned in the formal letter is the date of writing the letter. This is mentioned to keep track of the communication trail, and the formal letters are often kept for records. It is also easier to refer to a previous letter using the date.

Receiver’s Address

After the date is mentioned, leave some space and write the Receiver’s Address. It is written on the left side of the formal letter.

Use the following format to write the receiver’s

Title. Full Name


Address (No, Street Address)

City, State, Postal Code

You can also write ‘To’ before writing the address. It is a matter of choice and preference.

Salutation or Greeting

The greeting is the opening of the conversation and redirecting the reader’s awareness to the main message. It is usually a polite expression in the formal letter writing such as ‘Dear Sir /Ma’am’ or ‘Respected sir /Ma’am’. You can also write their name with Mr./Ms/Mrs as a prefix. Writing the last name is preferred as you do not know them personally to use their first names. Do not get too personal while greeting as it is a formal letter, and the tone of the message must remain professional and business-oriented.


A single line narrative with a brief and clear explanation of the matter of concern. You must limit the subject of the format letter to one line only. This tells the reader the purpose of the letter and message in a gist.

It is added in a center-aligned manner after the greeting. Use the following format,

‘Subject: write your subject here’

Body of the Letter

This contains the main information of your format letter. In a formal letter writing, this portion is often divided into 2-3 paragraphs

Introductory paragraph: You must give a brief of the problem statement or a quick idea of the intent of the letter.

For example, a complaint letter must contain order number details and brief about the issue.

Main content body: other relevant information to understand the message must be mentioned here. Try to keep the information as factual as possible and avoid using flowery language. You must stick to the information that is absolutely necessary to deliver the message.

Try to write clearly as your intention is that this letter delivers the message entirely. The tone of the formal letter must be highly professional, even when showing annoyance or inconvenience. You must write in the first person and use a passive tone. Avoid abbreviations and usage of slang informal language.

Conclusion: This is the end of the main content of formal letter writing. It generally contains expectations, demand from the recipient, or anticipation. You must also add ‘Thanking you’ or ‘warm regard’ at the end of the paragraph in a center-aligned manner.

Closing the Letter

At the end of the formal letter, you can close the letter with words like “Yours Faithfully” or “Yours Sincerely” on the right side of the letter.


In the end, sign your name along with your name.

Many competitive examinations test your capabilities of writing a formal letter. Examinations like SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, IBPS PO, and many more. The descriptive paper demands complete clarity of formal letter format.


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