Beginning and Ending a Business Letter

to whom it may concern

At some point in life, you are going to find yourself needing to write a business letter. Business letter writing is a valuable skill used for all sorts of things, like a covering letter when applying for work, formal correspondence, either inside an organisation or with others, and much more besides.  Today, we take a look at some things you should know when putting your letter together.

Proper Greetings

In general, if you know the individuals you are writing to it is best to direct your letter to them.  You should also take care to use their professional title should you be aware of it (i.e. doctor, priest).  In these cases, the professional title takes precedence over the usual honorifics of Mr, Mrs e.t.c.   

Likewise, when writing to a female recipient, presuming she has no professional title to use, the convention is to use the expression Ms if the recipients marital status is unknown or unimportant. Generally, this is the safest option to use as it is the most equivalent to the male Mr. However, it may, at times, be appropriate to uses Mrs or Miss when addressing married or younger unmarried women as appropriate.  The best rule of thumb is that, unless you have information informing you as to the preference, to rely on Ms when writing correspondence.

Many times you may be writing a letter and will not know necessarily the recipient’s name.  In these cases, it is conventional to begin your letter with “Dear Sir or Madam”.  Another option “To whom it may concern” was also often recommended but has come to be seen as out-dated and even excessively severe.   

Another option you may have, even if you do not know the eventual recipient's name, is to write to the position rather than the person.  For example, if you are writing for a job in the sales team you might begin the letter Dear Sales Manager.  While not as good as having a name, it does at least have the benefit of directing the letter precisely to the person you want to see it. 

Fond Farewells

For a business letter, the traditional ending is “Yours sincerely” if you have addressed an individual by name and “Yours faithfully” if you do not know the name of the person you are writing to.  This is generally the best option for first encounters and impressions where you have yet to develop a personal rapport with the recipient.

However, you may wish to express more familiarity with the recipient in future correspondence, or with less formal methods such as emails.  In these occasions, you may find a variant of Regards to be more appropriate to the sense you want to convey to your reader.  For example; “Kind Regards, Best Regards”.  Other words that may be of use include “Respectfully”, “Yours Truly” and “Thank You”. 




COP 27 – What it is and why it matters

COP 27 – What it is and why it matters COP 27 [1] stands for “Conference of Parties” with this occasion being the 27th time the event has occurred.  The non-descriptive abbreviation aside, COP 27 is a climate summit organized by the United Nations to be attended by representatives from up to 200 countries around

Read More »

New RHS Course Pricing Options

ADL are proud to offer its students an attractive selection of payment terms and conditions, that will enable individuals to meet their current budgeting requirements for enrolment on the New Syllabus RHS Courses. Our objective is to support individuals in realizing their RHS aspirations through flexible and reasonable payments terms. ADL are here to help

Read More »

Cats, Bats and Spiders: Common Animals Associated with Halloween

Spooky Season has arrived again.  You may have noticed a few Halloween-themed decorations and costume pieces between the Christmas goods in your local store (now that Christmas legally begins in August). But have you stopped to wonder why cats, bats and spiders are common animals associated with Halloween? Once again windows will be filling up

Read More »

Is Your Neighbour a Witch?  These Deadly Plants Might Tell You

Plants mean potions, potions mean magic and magic means witches. How can you tell a witch apart? By the deadly plants in their garden. If you’re following our singular brand of logic back to its root, you’ll understand that you may well be able to spy a potential witch or warlock from the trees, herbs

Read More »

Tips for Writing Horror – Haunted Words at Halloween

For writers, inspiration often comes out of the blue staring them in the face.  At this time of year, that increasingly involves some form of Halloween horror as seeing some plastic knickknack hanging in a store window becomes the inspiration to try one’s hand at horror writing.  That said, writing a proper scary tale is

Read More »


Scroll to Top


To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.


required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.