Formal Letter: Format, Types, Samples

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Formal Letter Format

Remember the leave application you were taught in school which most of us still can repeat precisely. Letter writing is an essential aspect of the syllabus that is covered during secondary grades as the emphasis is laid on imparting students precise writing skills to use in different professional scenarios. In the digital age, our social media applications have certainly transformed the way we used to communicate in earlier times through letters. Now, these letters have turned into emails with quite a similar format. In this blog, we will shed light on the formal letter format, types as well as samples. 

Also Read: Relieving Letter Format

What is a Formal Letter?

A formal letter is one written in a formal and uses formal language. Such letters are written for official purposes to authorities, dignitaries, colleagues, seniors, etc, and not to personal contacts, friends, or family. A number of conventions must be adhered to while drafting formal letters.

How to Write a Formal Letter?

Here are the key elements of the formal letter and what to include in each section:

  • Sender’s Address
    In Formal Letter Format, it is important that you mention the sender’s address in order to avoid any confusion and dispute. 
  • Date
    Mention the accurate date for better understanding of the actual time and date. 
  • Name / Designation of Addressee
    Skipping this part can lead to potential confusion thus it is necessary to include the proper name as well as the designation of the receiver. 
  • Address of the Addressee
    Mentioning the accurate address of the letter will ensure that it reaches the proper destination. 
  • Salutation
    This part is of utmost importance as you need to address the receiver with proper respect.
  • Subject
    Write a strong subject line which can convey the meaning of the entire formal letter. 
  • Body [Introduction, Content, Conclusion]
    It is important that you write your message in the body with precision and in a concise manner. 
  • Complimentary Closing Line
    Write some complimentary closing line at the end of the body. It will include words like With Regards, Best Wishes, Yours truly etc. 
  • Signature / Name of the Sender
    Don’t forget to include the name of the person who is sending the letter. It will clear ambiguity in the message.
  • Designation of the Sender
    For the final element of the letter, you must include a proper designation of the sender. It is part and parcel of the formal letter format. 

Formal Letter Format

The main structure of a formal letter includes:

  1. Sender’s Address
  2. Date
  3. Date
  4. Name / Designation of Addressee
  5. Address of the Addressee
  6. Salutation
  7. Subject
  8. Body [Introduction, Content, Conclusion] 
  9. Complimentary Closing Line
  10. Signature / Name of the Sender
  11. Designation of the Sender 

These elements of a formal letter are structured as:

Sender’s Address
Name / Designation of Receiver
Address of the Receiver,

Salutation (Mr/Mrs/ MS)

Body of the Letter

Signature / Name of the Sender
Designation of the Sender

Formal Letter Writing Topics

  • Attacks on Old People
  • Neglect of Parks
  • Affordable Accommodation for Students
  • Help Road Accident Victims
  • Increasing Number of Old Age Homes
  • Complaint for Defective Pair of Shoes
  • Complaint Regarding the Flat
  • Complaint for Poor Bus Service
  • Complaint for Defective Book
  • Complaint for Chaotic Conditions in Casualty Department
  • Issuing the Duplicate Certificates
  • Enquiry about Coaching Centre
  • Conducted Pilgrimage Tours
  • Charge for XII Farewell Party
  • NDA Coaching Classes
  • Accommodation for Yourself

Types of Formal Letter

Since we are clear with the elements of formal letter format, let’s include in the below-mentioned pointers the various types of a formal letter:

  • Letter of Enquiry: For collecting information or details regarding a course/product/service, etc. from a certain institution/business/organisation
  • Order Letter: Written by a buyer to place an order for certain products they need to buy from the seller.
  • Letter of Complaint: As a formal letter of a complaint regarding a certain product/service, a complaint letter is addressed to the seller and generally includes the details regarding the lack of quality/quantity and the like.
  • Reply to a Letter of Complaint: Written by the seller in reply to the buyer’s letter of complaint, this letter commonly includes a clarification or an apology for the buyer’s complaint.
  • Promotion Letter: For promotion or advertisements of certain products or services to the customers.
  • Sales Letters: Mainly curated for sales promotions, a sales letter is sent by a business to its customers to familiarise them with its products and services.
  • Recovery Letters: Written by a business in order to recover their money from the customers who haven’t paid for their products or services.

Letter of Enquiry

A letter of enquiry is written for collecting information. It is used under a business letter or formal letter. It helps a person to have information on course or job,  price of service or product, terms and orders of working agreement, etc. Here are some of the details you must keep in mind while writing a letter of enquiry:

  • Give a brief introduction about yourself
  • Include the name of the organization
  • Provide clear details about the area of the inquiry
  • Be clear about the queries or enquiry that you make through the letter
  • Mention the date by which you need the information


Nishat Srinagar, Kashmir 8th April 2020
Mr Umer Fayaz, CEO Alamdar Post Magazine
HMT, Srinagar Kashmir 

Subject: Advertisement space in your esteemed magazine

Mr Umer, 
With paramount reverence, I want to inform you that we are avid readers of your esteemed news magazine which is truly standing as a stalwart example of journalism excellence. 

We would like to request you to provide us with a front-page advertisement space in your magazine. Please provide us with the prices regarding the same. The earliest action will be highly appreciated. 

Yours truly,
Residents of Nishat Srinagar

Formal Letter in CBSE

Sender’s Address


Receiver’s Address



Body of the Letter

Complimentary Closing

Thanking You

Yours Sincerely

Formal Letter to Principal

As a school student, you might be required to write a letter to the principal for various reasons, be it asking for sick leave, permission to organising an event in the school, requesting a certificate, etc. Here is the formal letter format to the principal:

  1. The Principal
  2. Name of the School
  3. Address
  4. Date
  5. Salutation: Respected Sir/Ma’am
  6. Subject: State the reason of the letter to the principal
  7. Body of the Letter
  8. Closing Line: Yours Sincerely/Faithfully
  9. Sender’s Name
  10. Class and Roll No.
The Principal
School Name
[The date on which the application is written. It helps in officially documenting the application.]

Subject: Reason for writing the letter

Salutation: Respected Sir/Ma'am

Body of Content
[Mention your name and class]
[State the reason for the application]
[Related factors such as the number of days for a leave (including dates), reason of fee concession, etc.]

[Humbly extend your gratitude towards the principal.
Complimentary Note as a closing acknowledgement for the principal’s time, understanding and patience. This makes the letter more respectful and thereby appropriate.]

Closing Line
[Yours Obediently, Yours Sincerely, etc.]
Name of the Sender with Details
[Conclude the application by mentioning your name with other essential details like class, section, roll no. and any other details.]

Look at the sample letters to the principal by checking out this blog on How to Write an Application to the Principal!

Resignation Letter

A resignation letter is a formal letter which an employee writes to his manager if he wants to quit his job for any particular reason. Here is a format to write a resignation letter

Name of the Sender

Name of the Recipient
Compnay Name

Dear Mr/Ms.
I would like to inform you that I am resigning from your position as [Name of the Designation] for the [Name of the Company], effective from [Date & Year].
Thank you for the support and the opportunitites that you have provided me during the last [Number of Year] years. I have truly enjoyed my tenure with [Name of the Company], and am more than grateful for the encouragement you have given me in pursuing my professional goals and personal growth objectives.

If I can be of any assistance during this transition in order to faciliatate the seamless passing of my responsibilities to my successor, please let me know. I would be glas to help however I can.

Yours Sincerely,

Invitation Letter

An invitation letter is written to invite anyone to a particular occasion. Some format letter examples are invitations by juniors to their seniors in college for a farewell, by a company to attend the office annual day, invitations to attend a meeting or a conference, etc. Here is the format to write the formal invitation letter.

Name of the Sender

Name of the Recepient
Company Name

Subject: Invitation letter for ...

Dear Sir/Madam
It will really be grateful to have your warm presence at (the venue). We will be honored if you come to [name of the occassion] and it will become more delighted with your auspicious presence.
It is hereby informed that the vent will commence at the venue [address of the venue] on [date of the ocassion] from [starting time of the event].
I hope you will be able to put some time in and can join event. And I hope that you will provide me with a postive response. Your presence matters to us.
Thanking You,
Yours truly,
Name & Signature

Letter of Complaint

When composing this kind of letter:

  • One must be very specific about the issue they are having.
  • Indicate the course of action you choose and include data such as the date the orders arrived, the order number, or the specifics of the prior complaint (if any)
  • Set a time limit for responses.
  • Include a sample or copy of the invoice or any other receipts.
  • Use kind but firm language when addressing the complaint issue.
  • Never defend yourself or make any claims by yourself.

Reply to a Letter of Complaint

Imagine you received a letter of complaint at some point and you want to respond to it. The reputation of your company or yourself could be damaged by such complaints, thus it is crucial to try to handle them. How to address the reply to a letter of Complaint.

  • Clearly state the issue and the expense to the consumer.
  • Express regret for the mistake on your part.
  • Indicate in detail the steps you will take to address the concerns that have developed and when you plan to do so.
  • Ensure the client that there won’t be any more complaints or problems in the future
  • Be extremely accurate and explicit with every detail.

Promotion Letter

This kind of letter primarily refers to those that promote new innovations and upgrades. Any fresh opening of a branch or showroom, new programmes, or other promotional discounts might be considered a promotion. Any promotional letter must include the following:

  • Use precise, clear language.
  • Spelling and punctuation must be used correctly.
  • Avoid using jargon, slang, or other fancy terms.
  • Discuss the promotion in detail
  • Avoid using acronyms when possible.

Recovery Letters

A business or organisation may occasionally need to obtain payment from a client or consumer. The goal of sending recovery letters is to obtain payment from the client without bothering or annoying them. This kind of letter includes specific information about the amount of the unpaid balance, the deadline for payment, and the specifics of the legal action that will be taken in the event that the debt is not paid in full. Despite the fact that it is a letter of recovery, one must always remember.

  • The remaining text must be written in formal language.
  • The client must be able to clearly understand the reasons and the specifics.
  • The tone should be official.
  • Detail the legal actions that will be taken if there is any further non-payment or delay in paying the debts.

Tips On Formal Letter Writing

Here is how you can format your letter:

  • Write a simple letter that is focused on your topic
  • Single-space your letter
  • Use plain font
  • Leave a blank line after the salutation
  • Print the letter on white bond paper

Abbreviations Used in Letter Writing

Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations in letter writing:

  • ASAP: As soon as possible
  • CC: Carbon Copy
  • Enc: Enclose
  • PFA: Please Find Attached
  • PP: Per  procurationem: Meaning they are signing the letter on someone else’s behalf
  • PS: Postscript
  • PTO: Please Turn Over
  • RSVP: Répondez s’il vous plaît (Please Reply)
Source: Englover Videos

Difference between Formal and Informal Letter Format

Formal LetterInformal Letter
It is written in a formal way or a professional way.It can be casual also.
It is an official announcement by a person or a firm.It is non-official.
The format of the letter should be followed.There is no particular format.
They are written for official reasons.They are written for personal reasons.

More Examples of Formal Letter Formats

Now that you are familiar with the formal letter format and its types. We will go ahead and help you understand it better through some sample formal letters.

Formal Letter Sample 1

Defence Colony,
New Delhi 07-04-2020
Mr Zia Shakir, MD Multimedia Productions
Lajpat Nagar, Block M, New Delhi.

Subject: Approval for Setting up a Multimedia House

Mr Zia Shakir, 

With Paramount reverence, I want to bring this into your kind notice that there has been a massive demand from universities and colleges in the South Delhi region to come up with a multimedia organisation that could cater for their internship needs. 

You are aware of the fact that it is a time of media convergence and people are showing their prime interest in choosing multimedia as their prime source of information. And it is a good fact that multimedia news discrimination has overshadowed the traditional way of information dissemination. I believe we will take all the elements of multimedia into consideration. A fully-fledged animation branch will add feathers to our cap. We should take advantage of this emerging trend and set up a fully-fledged organisation in South Delhi. 

Thanking You in Anticipation 
Zahid Hussain 
Associate professor, 
Multimedia University, New Delhi

Mistakes to Avoid for Formal Letter Writing

Some of the main mistakes that are to be avoided are mentioned below:

  1. Avoid using the incorrect format for writing a formal letter. Go through a proper understanding of how to write a formal letter and don’t make silly mistakes of confusing the proper greeting, etc.
  2. Make sure that while you are writing the formal letter, the intent and purpose are clearly defined.
  3. Avoid making grammatical mistakes while writing a formal letter. It gives a wrong impression while making the letter look informal.
  4. Similar to the point above, avoid using informal language in a formal letter, where formal language should be used.
  5. Don’t forget to make sure to ask for a follow-up in case it a formal letter that needs a response.


Q1. What is a formal letter?

Answer. A formal letter is one written in orderly and conventional language and follows a specific stipulated format. These letters are written for official purposes only, such as writing a letter to the manager, to the HR manager, to an employee, to the Principal of the college or school, to a teacher, etc.

Q2. What is the resignation letter?

Answer. A resignation letter is a formal letter which an employee writes to his manager if he wants to quit his job for any particular reason.

Q3. What are the types of formal letters?

Business Letters
Official Letters
Appointment Letters
Experience Letter
Offer Letter
Social letter
Circular letter
Leave Letter
Resignation letter
Invitation letter
Complaint Letter

Q4. How do you end a formal letter?

Answer. You can end a formal letter by using “Yours truly” or “Yours Sincerely”.

Q5. What are the 7 C’s for formal letter writing?

Answer. The 7 C’s of formal letters are:

Hence, we hope that this blog has provided you with the essentials of Format Letter format as well as its useful samples. If you are confused about your career choices, book an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you in finding the right career path that fits your skills, interests and aspirations!

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    1. Hi Reeva

      “Yours faithfully” should be used if you do not know the name of the person that you are writing to. “Yours sincerely” should be used if you know the name of the person that you are writing to.

      For any study abroad related query, please feel free to connect with us at 18007572000 or book your FREE Consultation Call at

      Team Leverage Edu

    1. Hi Reeva

      “Yours faithfully” should be used if you do not know the name of the person that you are writing to. “Yours sincerely” should be used if you know the name of the person that you are writing to.

      For any study abroad related query, please feel free to connect with us at 18007572000 or book your FREE Consultation Call at

      Team Leverage Edu