Official Letter

Official Letter Definition

An official letter is a formal communication done in writing, that is, written according to fixed, explicit, and definite convention, rules, customs, or format.

The official letter is intended to voice the person or, usually, the entity that issued it, like Federal or Governmental agencies, public or private companies. An official letter is usually considered as a binding letter.

The opposite of an official letter is an informal letter, which is not or less formal, and usually shorter. Thus, an informal letter is not intended to represent the person or entity who wrote it. It is considered as an informational-only, non-binding letter.

Official Letter Format

How to write an official letter?
What is mandatory in an official letter?
Is there any convention on writing an official letter?
How can I close an official letter?

In order to write a letter deemed official, simply follow the format below:

  1. Use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite the official letter. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own official letter.
  2. First, your letter should always be written in a courteous manner notwithstanding the context (i.e., disagreement, protest, complaint). Ire is not a reliable weapon because it usually explodes when it's still in your hands. The right words written with cold blood have actually a better effect.
  3. Next, an official letter is triggered by an event and its purpose is to formally inform its recipient of such an happening. So, you will probably need to explain the reasons why it's happening and what is the next step. Arguments and reasons are significantly more efficient when factual, that is, relying on facts that make references to specific places, dates and times, and explicitly identify persons and organizations involved.

    Spend the time needed to honestly and properly communicate all the information. The more specific, exhaustive, and honest the writer is, the more difficult it becomes for the reader to contest the letter.

  4. Keep in mind that the writer may provide the reader with a way to formally argue, contest, or merely respond within a reasonable timeframe to the information contained in the official letter. In some cases, this how-to-protest information is made mandatory by Law.
  5. Finally, close the letter formally with "sincerely" or a similar polite expression. Sign your name and title.
  6. Do not forget to send the official letter via certified mail when necessary.
  7. Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, remember to consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.

Common Official Letter Templates and Samples

Your RFP Letters Toolkit (it's free) provides you with templates and samples for the following kinds of official letters:

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