7 junio, 2024

Formal letter: what it is, characteristics, parts, data, examples

We explain what a form letter is, its characteristics, parts and necessary data. In addition, we give several examples of a formal letter.

What is a formal letter?

A formal letter is one that is addressed to an authority, an unknown person or someone known, in the midst of a context that necessarily implies an attitude of formality. This type of written communication is common in work and academic settings, as well as in certain social settings.

Formal letters are purely informative communications. In several cases they can also express more personal feelings, although they are usually sent with the intention of reporting something.

The language of formal letters has a certain aura of seriousness, it seeks to express respect towards the sender of the communication. Likewise, they are characterized by being brief and concise: the intention is to inform something in particular, and through the formal letter they seek to express it in the most precise way possible.

Characteristics of the formal letter

They are purely informative

Formal letters are primarily intended to inform. This information may be new to the sender, or it may serve as a reminder of a topic raised on a previous occasion.

In any case, formal letters are not usually a way to send greetings or maintain contact between people; Its primary function is to transmit information in a specific context.

They use respectful language

Quite formal language is used in this type of letter. Throughout the communication, the sender must perceive that he is being treated with respect and attention.

Formal letters should include the names of the positions held by the sender or the title displayed, if applicable.

they are brief

Since they have a very specific function, formal letters are characterized by their short length. It seeks to prevent whoever receives the letter from having to spend too much time reading it.

On the contrary, the intention is that the message arrives quickly. That is why it is important that in formal letters there are no unnecessary paragraphs.

Information is expressed accurately

As we indicated in the previous point, precision is key for formal letters. When writing this type of communication, it is imperative to avoid set phrases, filler paragraphs, or unnecessary data that is not of interest to the reader.

The entire letter must be full of valuable information, expressed in a fluid, respectful and precise manner.

They can be addressed to known or unknown

The senders of formal letters can be known or unknown people. For example, a resident of a community can write a letter addressed to the president of that community to request the calling of an extraordinary meeting as a result of a specific problem.

Its structure includes protocol elements

Formal letters usually include information related to the positions held by both the issuer and the sender, as well as specific appointments that may arise.

These mentions are very important within the structure of formal letters, since it implies full recognition of the person who will receive the letter and is interpreted as a sign of respect and care in communication.

You must take special care of the spelling rules

In any type of writing it is necessary to have good spelling and writing, but in a formal letter it is even more necessary that all the paragraphs are written correctly.

Parts of the formal letter: necessary data

Place and date

This data is usually located in the upper right part of the letter, although it can also be found in the upper left area. It is important not to forget these elements, since they are the ones that will allow the communication to be recorded and placed in a specific context.

The most common is that the city is placed first and then the date, following the current day, month and year format. For example: «Madrid, October 15, 2019».


The sender of the communication must be mentioned in this section. This mention must include the corresponding title (ie, «sir», «ma’am», «don», «doña», etc.) and the person’s full name.

The position held by the person in question must appear on the next line, or the title held in the case of a member of the nobility or royalty.

After this information, some people use the word “present”. This is a convention that is not mandatory, but can be used if the writer of the letter considers it prudent. An example header could be the following:

«Mrs. Camila Flores

Deputy of the 6th district of the Valparaíso Region



This section occupies only one line, let’s remember that the intention of a formal letter is to be as direct, respectful and precise as possible.

Therefore, the greeting to the sender will include a courtesy term, such as «esteemed», «distinguished», «respected» or «appreciated», among others.

In addition, it must include the treatment that has been placed previously («sir», «señora», «señor», «madame», among others), as well as the position held by the sender, which has also been placed in the header. A good greeting for a formal letter can look like this: «Dear Madam Deputy.»


The first paragraph of a formal letter should concisely state the reason for the communication. This introduction should effectively clarify the main point of the letter and what the sender is expected to achieve.

Likewise, the introduction can quickly detail who is writing the letter and in what capacity they are promoting said communication.

That is, whoever reads the formal letter should understand what the main information is just by reading the first paragraph of it. In this way, she will quickly recognize what type of actions are requested through the letter. Here is an example of a formal letter introduction:

“I am contacting you as a resident of the Bellas Artes neighborhood with the intention of expressing my gratitude for the inauguration of the Juan Díaz community park, which is located in the center of said neighborhood and has meant an evident improvement in the quality of life. of those of us who live there”.


Corresponds to the development of the text. This section must include all the complementary aspects related to the main reason for the communication, which has been exposed in the previous paragraph.

It is important that the letter does not go on too long, it should always be written as precisely as possible. However, it is also important that the communication is not incomplete by wanting to make it very brief.

There must be a balance that allows the length of the letter to be short and, at the same time, it is possible to deliver the complete information to the sender.


The farewell is at the end of the letter. This section gives the opportunity to emphasize the main idea in a quick and summarized way.

Likewise, in the farewell you can also include an affectionate and kind phrase that ends the conversation. An example of farewell in a formal letter can be the following: “I appreciate the work done in this neighborhood of the capital city and I remain at your disposal for future projects of social improvement. Say goodbye carefully.»


It is the last section of the letter. In this section the full name of the person writing the letter is placed, as well as their position or title, as the case may be.

This name is accompanied by the signature of the person. Formal letters usually use the same signature that is used on regular legal documents. It can be written in your own handwriting or it can be an electronic signature.


If the form letter is sent from a formal institution or organization, a logo can be included in the upper right corner.

formal letter examples

formal letter of resignation

Madrid, November 15, 2018

Mr. Joaquin Guerrero

Director of Human Resources of the newspaper The country


Dear Mr. Director:

I am writing to you in order to let you know my decision to permanently leave my position as chief journalist of the section International of the distinguished newspaper The country starting next December 1, 2018.

This decision responds to personal reasons that are unavoidable and have nothing to do with bad experiences within the company, where I worked harmoniously for three years.

Serve this communication to thank you for the confidence that the company gave me at all times. My work experience in The country It has meant an important opportunity for professional and personal growth for which I am immensely grateful.

Without further ado and hoping for your understanding, he says goodbye,

Daniel Fernandez

Chief journalist of the section International, The country.

Formal claim letter

Caracas, September 26, 2019

Mr. Samuel Palacios

General Manager of Movistar


Dear Sir Manager:

By means of this communication I am writing to you to inform you of my disagreement regarding the internet service offered by the company you run. For the last 15 continuous days I have been without internet service and my situation has not yet been resolved.

I understand that there are certain channels that are appropriate to present the corresponding complaints, but I respectfully point out that my complaints have already been registered during the last 15 days and I have not been able to offer a satisfactory response.

In this letter I am attaching copies of the duly paid invoices for the last two months, as well as a list with the numbers of claims made by me in the company’s customer service department. I remain attentive and ready in case it is necessary to present any other documentation.

I thank you in advance for the steps you may take to ensure that my case is forwarded to the relevant authorities, through which they can respond to my requirements.

Receive a cordial greeting from me.


Diana Gonzalez Riera

CI 18,574,296

formal thank you letter

Barcelona, ​​January 8, 2019

Ms. Beatriz Villarejo

Director of the Institute of Contemporary Dance of Barcelona


Distinguished Ms. Villarejo:

I hereby offer my most sincere gratitude to you and to the team of the Institute of Contemporary Dance of Barcelona for the impeccable work of accompaniment that you were kind enough to provide within the framework of the II Contemporary Dance Festival, held on the 6th and 7th of January 2019, and organized by the Ímpetu School, of which I am the director.

The team from the Institute of Contemporary Dance of Barcelona made it possible for the organization of the event to be completely successful. The spaces provided met the expectations of the dancers, choreographers and the general public, and we have received a very favorable response from the audience.

We understand that this event would not have been possible without the participation of…

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