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Sample Business Letters

Business Letter Envelope Components

This sample business letter envelope includes formal components, some of which are optional for typical, employment-related business letters.

The graphic below represents the US Postal Service automation guidelines for a standard business envelope that is 4-1/8 x 9-1/2 inches.

Business Letter Envelope Sample


  • Replace the text in brackets [ ] with the component indicated. Don't type the brackets.

  • If your envelope does not have a preprinted return address, type it in the upper left corner, in an area not to exceed 50% of the length and 33% of the height of the envelope. Leave a little space between your return address and the top and left edges. How much depends on the margin limitations of your printer or typewriter. For example, laser printers typically require margins of at least 1/8 inch (9 points). 1/4 (18 points) to 1/2 inch (36 points) looks good.

  • Type the Special Mailing Notation under the postage area. It doesn't have to line up perfectly with the stamp as shown, but it looks professional. Type in all uppercase characters, if appropriate. Examples include

  • Type the On-Arrival Notation so that its right edge lines up with the left edge of the recipient's address. This is not a post office requirement, but rather standard formatting. Type in all uppercase characters, if appropriate. You might want to include a notation on private correspondence, such as when mailing a resignation letter. Examples are

  • The gray shaded area is where the optical character reader (OCR) at the post office scans for the recipient's address. Type the recipient's address within the shaded area, below other information. Don't type anything to the left, right or below the recipient's address. It's a good idea to include a line or two of space below non-address information (such as the notations shown), before typing the recipient's address. It makes it easier for the OCR to distinguish the address.

    • Including the recipient's job title after his or her name is optional.
    • If you know the recipient's department or mail-stop name or number, include it after his or her name.
    • Include the abbreviation USA after the Zip+4 code, if mailing to the United States of America from another country.
  • You'll need software to print a barcode. It's not required for typical, employment-related letters. But if you want to get fancy and have a later version of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, they will print barcodes.

Sample Business and Employment Letters
Full Block Components Modified Block Components
Modified Semi-Block Components Envelope Components
Download Samples Letter Writing Desk Writing Letters

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Envelope format source: US Postal Service
Stamp clipart courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Copyright 2000, J. Steven Niznik. All Rights Reserved.

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