Business Letter vs Formal Letter

As business letters and formal letters are used daily to mean the same thing, this must show that the differences between the two are very subtle. To understand what is a business letter and what is a formal letter, you may need to do some extra reading. Previously the term formal letter was used more generically for different types of important letters, however, now as more purposes for writing letters has evolved, more specific names have been created. This has left the term formal letter to encompass business letter, another wide topic that can encompass different purposes of writing a business letter specifically which is explained in different types of business letters. 

Differences Between Formal Letters and Business Letters

Business Letter vs Formal LetterGenerally speaking, a business letter will have to include an exchange with one particular business if not another or several whereas a formal letter will relate to any official communication between anyone and any corporation. Here are some more detailed differentiations:

  • Subject: business letters will have a business orientated subject, the subject for a formal letter is more varied
  • Salutations: these are a must-do in business letters, depending on the formality of the formal letter they are sometimes omitted

  • Information: formal letters may be more personal and include informal content, business letters will always remain less personal only mentioning official information
  • Format: business letters will have a certain layout to be followed and points to be mentioned, formal letters are more free in their layout depending on the audience and purpose

If you have doubts about other types of business letters then have a look at information on business letter vs business memo and formal letter vs informal letter.

Check out our business letter samples for further details.

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