Creative and  Business Writing

How to Start and End a Business Letter or Email

A common mistake in ending an email is to write "Bye" or "Bye Bye". As this is not a standard way of ending business emails, it makes your writing look unprofessional. Here are some widely used phrases for starting and ending correspondence in British English.

1. Formal letter of application (for a job)

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to apply for…


I look forward to hearing from you
Yours faithfully

2. Formal business correspondence (for example: letter of enquiry)

Dear Mr Smith (Dear Ms Smith)

I am writing to enquire about your prices


An early reply would be appreciated / I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely

3. Formal letter of reference

To whom it may concern

I write with reference to Ms Smith…


Yours faithfully

4. Business email – friendly

Dear (+ first name)

Just a quick note to remind you about


Best wishes / Kind regards

5. In-company email request

(no salutation)

Could you…


Thanks / Cheers

More Business Letter Writing Help

For more help with business writing, take a look at my new ebook Business Correspondence Essentials. Designed to help you write business emails, letters and reports quickly and confidently, it's packed with tips, guidelines and ready-to-use letter and email templates – find out more.

There are two Business Writing books that I recommend for letter writing. The first is How to Write It – The Complete Guide to Everything You'll Ever Write. Business correspondence veteran Sandra E. Lamb shows you how to craft just about any kind of letter or email including proposals, reports, employee communication, orders and credit collection as well as job search and social letters. More than 400 pages of practical advice and ready-to-use samples. Highly recommended.

Just as comprehensive is 300+ Successful Business Letters for All Occasions but this book focuses on samples rather than instruction and is packed with hundreds of example business letters and emails with complete formatting guidelines. Recommended if you're looking less for theory and more for quick and easy samples to speed up your working day.

Clare Whitmell is a qualified business communication trainer & has been coaching individuals and businesses for more than 20 years. She specializes in business & resume / c.v. writing and is the author of English Grammar for Busy People

Recommended Writing Software

Buy Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence)
For Windows and Mac - check out our video review of Scrivener.

NEW Kindle Writing Books

English Grammar for Busy People - Everyday Grammar for Great Writing

Imagine you could write quickly and error-free - with no grammar mistakes.
Our new Kindle book shows you how.

Business Writing Essentials: How To Write Letters, Reports and Emails

Save time by getting it the right first time. Business Writing Essentials is an all-in-one-guide to Business Writing.

303 Business English Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Make your writing sparkle with idioms and expressions that add life to presentations, emails and letters - a great way to improve your writing.

How To Write A Resume / CV - Pain-free Resume writing that gets job interviews and kick-starts your career

The next best thing to having an expert resume writer by your side, this book shares the secrets professionals use to get their clients job interviews. US Edition | UK Edition