4 Types of Business Writing Styles

Tom DuPuis

Table of Contents

1. instructional writing, 2. informational writing, 3. persuasive writing, 4. transactional writing, style reminders for each type of business writing.

The world of business writing can seem vast. Each office seems to have variations of documents, each with its personalized templates and industry focus. Varying scenarios require varying forms of business writing. However, innumerable documents can be distilled into four main style categories.

Each category has its overall goal. Based on the objective, each of the many business documents falls within these four broad segments. Understanding these conceptual divisions will help guide your decisions about your document choice and goal.

Instructional business writing provides the reader with the information needed to complete a task. The task may need to be accomplished immediately or it may be for future reference.

This type of business document must break down a process into steps that are understandable to the reader. The written record must account for the reader's knowledge of the area, and the scope of the task while integrating variations or potential problems.

Examples of instructional business writing:

  • User Manual: a guide focused on allowing the customer to use a product. Effective user manuals are crucial to a good user experience and a happy customer. User manuals are often considered part of technical writing, which is closely related to business writing.
  • Specifications: a technical document that provides an outline of a product or process that allows it to be constructed or reconstructed by an unfamiliar but knowledgeable user, enabling effective distribution.
  • Business Memo: a short notification of new information shared within a large group in an organization. The business memo may include direct instruction or be a reference on how to complete future tasks.

Not all business writing requires action. A large volume of writing is created for reference or record. This category can include some of the less glamorous but still essential documents.

Recording business information accurately and consistently is important for marking progress, predicting future work, as well as complying with legal and contractual obligations.

Examples of business writing:

  • Financials : documents that outline the financial state of a company. These statements provide a fiscal snapshot of a company over a defined period.
  • Minutes: a summary of the proceedings of a meeting. A record of discussions, decisions, and assignments for attendees and others.

The goal is two-fold: to convey information and to convince the reader that the presented information offers the best value. The text is written to impress the reader and sway their decision.

Examples of persuasive business writing:

  • Proposals: these documents outline an offer of a product or service to a specific potential client. The client proposal generally presents a project overview, benefits, timeline, costs, and competency.
  • Sales Email: an email that is written to a large number of people to pitch a product or service. Learn how to write a sales email.
  • Press Release: a text written for journalists and media presenting new information. The text aims to persuade the reader to share the content through their own channels.

Examples of transactional business writing:

  • Emails: documents used to quickly communicate information between staff or clients in business activities.

Learn how to write a business email.

  • Dismissal notice: this dismissal letter provides the official context and procedural details associated with employment termination.

While the document goal varies, the core of business writing does not. Here are some helpful style reminders for professional communication.

Effective business writing is written with a clearly defined audience and purpose in mind. This is results-oriented writing. The text helps the reader do or know something.


Our courses cover all types of business writing styles.

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The Science of Strong Business Writing

  • Bill Birchard

business writing forms

Lessons from neurobiology

Brain scans are showing us in new detail exactly what entices readers. Scientists can see a group of midbrain neurons—the “reward circuit”—light up as people respond to everything from a simple metaphor to an unexpected story twist. The big takeaway? Whether you’re crafting an email to a colleague or an important report for the board, you can write in a way that delights readers on a primal level, releasing pleasure chemicals in their brains.

Bill Birchard is an author and writing coach who’s worked with many successful businesspeople. He’s drawn on that experience and his review of the scientific literature to identify eight features of satisfying writing: simplicity, specificity, surprise, stirring language, seductiveness, smart ideas, social content, and storytelling. In this article, he shares tips for using those eight S’s to captivate readers and help your message stick.

Strong writing skills are essential for anyone in business. You need them to effectively communicate with colleagues, employees, and bosses and to sell any ideas, products, or services you’re offering.

business writing forms

  • Bill Birchard is a business author and book-writing coach. His Writing for Impact: 8 Secrets from Science That Will Fire Up Your Reader’s Brain will be published by HarperCollins Leadership in April 2023. His previous books include Merchants of Virtue, Stairway to Earth, Nature’s Keepers, Counting What Counts, and others. For more writing tactics, see his website .  

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Types Of Business Writing Styles And Examples From Companies Doing It Right

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Table of Contents

Almost everyone who works in business will have to do some writing sooner or later, even if it’s not in the job description. However, business writing isn’t like writing an essay or a letter to a friend. It has its own rules and guidelines, and anyone who needs to do some business writing should know them.

What Is Business Writing?

Business writing is always writing with a purpose. That purpose may be to elicit a response or merely to spread information. Whatever it is, every word of the correspondence must be directed to that purpose.

Whether it’s a memo, an email or a sales pitch, all business writing must be clear, concise and to the point. You’re not trying to impress the reader with your literary skills; you’re trying to motivate them to take some specific action. Here are some principles to remember when writing business documents:

  • Keep your reader in mind. Write to their level, attune your writing to what they want and don’t waste their time with words that they neither need nor care about.
  • Avoid flowery writing. Say away from long sentences, overdone descriptions and obscure words.
  • Use technical terms only when you’re writing for an audience that knows what they mean.
  • Organize your work so that it’s easy to scan. Favor short paragraphs and bullets. Think about the physical appearance of the page and leave some white space.
  • Put your main point up front. Don’t make your audience read to the end to get it. Many of them won’t make it that far.
  • Double-check for errors. They damage your credibility and make the reader less likely to respond the way you want them to. Use a grammar app to catch mistakes.

The spread of online communication has created additional opportunities to make business communication easier for the reader. We’ll see that in the examples that follow.

Types of Business Writing Styles

Business writing can be instructional, informational, persuasive or transactional. Let’s look at some characteristics of each along with some well-constructed examples.

Instructional Business Writing

An instructional document tells the reader what they need to know to do their job or to complete a specific task. One example is the user manual, which lists the features of a product and often tells readers step-by-step how to perform specific tasks with them. Many workplace memos are instructional, telling employees how to comply with policies or complete administrative tasks.

Specification documents, how-to guides and training manuals are other typical types of instructional writing.

A key to instructional writing is understanding the readiness level of the audience. If you’re writing to the IT team about your new software, you can use more technical language than if you’re describing it to the user community. If it’s a how-to for a knowledgeable user, you may not have to describe every step in as much detail.

Let’s look at this user guide from Mimosa. It’s structured as an online document, yet it’s not hard to imagine how it would look as a paper document with a table of contents and chapters. Because it’s online, however, the reader simply has to click links to navigate rather than look through the contents and turn to a page.

Notice how this high-level page is clean, spare and easily readable. It points to subordinate pages which are clearly labeled as dashboard, wireless, etc. Each of those pages shows some text, and most have diagrams. The diagnostics page, to take an example, has three sections separated by white space and simplified with bulleted lists. It’s easy to go directly to the diagnostic test you’re interested in.

This document uses a lot of jargon, but that’s appropriate because it’s jargon the target audience understands.

Informational Business Writing

Informational writing generally doesn’t call the reader to immediate action but informs them of something. It exists as a record so that in the future readers can go back to it and refer to the information it contains.

Examples are meeting minutes, financial reports, general reports and employee handbooks. Sometimes they exist to meet legal obligations.

As meeting minutes, they record when the meeting took place, who was there, what business was discussed and any decisions that the attendees made.

This is an example of a Zapposinsights online guide; they call it a culture book.

The first thing you might notice is how easy it is on the eyes. It’s due to the font, the centered text and the grayish background.

While most business writing is not first-person, it works in this case. The leader, Tony Hsieh, is expressing his commitment to the company’s culture and using his position and personality to convince the employees not only to read but also to absorb the message. The testimonials by others reinforce what he has to say.

The second page, the page behind the “View All” button, lists the 10 aspects of Zapposinsights culture. They’re separated by white space and each is expressed in an easily readable paragraph. It’s simple to scan the 10 points or quickly go to one and read more about it.

Note that each culture point is accompanied by an image. The online format can take advantage of pictures in a way a paper handbook might not.

Persuasive Business Writing

This is the type of business writing that tries to convince someone to take some action. Some persuasive writing is internal to a company. That is, someone is trying to convince a superior, a colleague or a department to take some action that the writer believes is good for the business.

However, persuasive writing is more often associated with sales and marketing. One example is the press release, which promotes the company and aims to convince the media to write positively about it. There is also general advertising that’s intended to raise brand awareness and promote the image of the business with the public.

A more direct form of persuasive writing is the sales pitch. It can be in the form of an email, a print ad or online advertising. An example of the last is found in this following offer from Tailor Brands .

Online advertising of this sort has an advantage in that it can be targeted at a specific audience so that the target audience is more likely to see it than the larger public. This page promotes a toolkit that can be used to establish or improve an online presence.

Note that it gets right to the point about what it offers, proclaiming “50% OFF” and “LAST DAY” in caps at the top of the page. There is one clear, terse paragraph about what the product is and another enticement in the form of an online coupon.

The prospect who clicks the “Launch” link is immediately brought to a page where they’re invited to engage as a customer.

Transactional Business Writing

Transactional business writing conducts the day-to-day correspondence of the business. It includes such things as invoices, handouts and emails acknowledging an order or updating a customer on order status. It can include correspondence such as extending or accepting a job offer.

Transactional writing may seem unexciting compared with other types, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Clarity (and usually brevity) are critical. A sloppy or unclear transactional document can lead to confusion, elicit the wrong action and even damage a company’s reputation.

In the above example from Stocksy, the company is sending a prospective customer a verification code so that the customer can complete the process of setting up an account. It’s a common type of correspondence that most of us see on a regular basis.

We may not pay much attention to it, that is, as long as it’s done right. This one is done right. The title and the two instructional sentences are clear and to the point. The link where you go to use the code is right there on the same screen. Anyone who lands on this page would have no misunderstanding about what to do next.

Some companies produce thousands of these transactional pages every day, and each one does just a little bit to raise or lower the organization’s reputation in the eyes of the reader.

All Business Writing Is Worth Doing Well

A short transactional message that will be seen by thousands is different from an extensive user manual to be read by a specific audience. While the forms may be different, they both depend on some core principles of business writing. When it’s done right, clearly and succinctly and with the purpose and the audience in mind, any type of business writing can be effective. Companies with well-structured business writing have an advantage in building their organization, attracting customers and enhancing their reputation.

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Business Writing

What this handout is about.

This handout explains principles in business writing that apply to many different situations, from applying for a job to communicating professionally within business relationships. While the examples that are discussed specifically are the application letter and cover letter, this handout also highlights strategies for effective business writing in general.

What is business writing?

Business writing refers to professional communication including genres such as policy recommendations, advertisements, press releases, application letters, emails, and memos. Because business writing can take many forms, business writers often consider their purpose, audience, and relationship dynamics to help them make effective stylistic choices. While norms vary depending on the rhetorical situation of the writer, business writers and audiences tend to value writing that communicates effectively, efficiently, and succinctly.

If you have been assigned a genre of business writing for a class, it may help to think about the strategies business writers employ to both gather and produce knowledge. A business communicator or writer may use the following forms of evidence: statistics, exploration of past trends, examples, analogy, comparison, assessment of risk or consequences, or citation of authoritative figures or sources. Your knowledge of and relationship to your audience will help you choose the types of evidence most appropriate to your situation.

Who is your audience?

To communicate effectively, it is critical to consider your audience, their needs, and how you can address all members of your audience effectively. As you prepare to write, think about the following questions:

  • What are your audience’s priorities and expectations?
  • What does your audience need to learn from your document?
  • How will you grasp the attention of readers when you are competing for their attention?
  • How will you help your reader move through your document efficiently? When is it effective to use bulleted lists, visuals, boldface, and section headers to guide your reader’s attention?
  • What does your audience most need to know?
  • What is your audience expecting? Is your goal to satisfy their expectations, or do you want to surprise them with a new idea?
  • How will you communicate about setbacks? When is it appropriate to spin bad information with a positive outlook? How will stakeholders, customers, or employees respond to bad news?
  • In general, how can you tailor the organization and style of your writing to address your audience’s considerations and needs?

When answering the last question, don’t overlook the following considerations:

Title. Is it appropriate to address your audience by their first name, or is a salutation needed? Are you addressing someone who prefers to be addressed by a formal title such as Dr. or Professor? If you are writing about a third party, do you know what title and pronouns to use? When the name of the person you’re writing to is unknown, then it is customary to address your letter “To Whom It May Concern.” But this may be impolite if the person’s name is known or easily discovered. You can find more information on titles, names, and pronouns in our handout on Gender-Inclusive Language .

Language . If you’re writing in English, ask yourself: Is English the first language of all your audience members? Are you using idioms or other expressions that might not be clear to someone with a different background in English? For example, are you using expressions that require U.S.-specific cultural knowledge?

Culture . Does your audience have different customs and cultural norms? How might these customs and norms impact the way they receive your message?

Once you understand your purpose and your audience, you can begin to consider more specific elements, like organization and style.

What is your purpose?

To get a better sense of how the purpose of your writing will impact your style, it can be useful to look at existing messages and documents from the organization with the following questions in mind:

  • What type of document is it (e.g. email, cover letter, social media post, memo, etc.)?
  • What is the general length of the document?
  • How is the document organized?
  • How long are the paragraphs or sections?

How is business writing organized?

A common organizational pattern used across genres in business writing is OABC: Opening, Agenda, Body, and Closing. While the exact content of your opening, agenda, body, and closing may change depending on your context, here is the overall purpose of each component of the OABC pattern:

  • Opening: This section introduces the reader to the purpose of your document or the subject matter you’ll be discussing. It lets them know why you are communicating with them and why the information is important to your reader.
  • Agenda: This section lets the reader know, more or less, what to expect from the rest of the message. You can think of it like a roadmap for your document.
  • Body: This section is where you make your main points and communicate your overall message to the reader. This section is often the longest part of a business document.
  • Closing: Here, you reiterate the main points for the reader and include any follow-up actions or recommendations as necessary. In most cases, you may request a meeting to discuss your ideas further.

What style considerations are common in business writing?

Business writers tend to prioritize clear and concise communication. When writing in business, carefully considering the following style elements, along with your purpose and audience, can help you communicate more effectively:

Active voice. One skill in business writing is how to tactfully take ownership or distribute blame for certain actions. Active voice refers to a sentence structure that places the actor of the sentence as its grammatical subject. In general, active voice comes across as clearer, more direct, and more concise than passive voice, which are all elements of good business writing. However, the passive voice can be a useful tool in legally-sensitive writing, because the passive voice can convey what has occurred without naming names.

Jargon. Generally, your audience will prefer plain, straightforward language over jargon, because it allows them to read your writing quickly without misunderstandings. However, you may encounter what looks like jargon. Ask yourself if this language may be functioning as shorthand or whether it’s helping establish expectations or norms in business relationships. Understanding your audience and why they may choose to either use or avoid jargon will help you determine what is most appropriate for your own writing.

Tone. While business writing should be clear and concise, “concise” does not necessarily mean “blunt.” As you write, think about how your relationship to the reader and about how your audience may interpret your tone. Consider the following examples:

Nobody liked your project idea, so we are not going to give you any funding. After carefully reviewing this proposal, we have decided to prioritize other projects this quarter.

While the first example may be more direct, you will likely notice that the second sentence is more diplomatic and respectful than the first version, which is unnecessarily harsh and likely to provoke a negative reaction.

If you are wondering how your audience will respond to your writing, it may also be helpful to have a disinterested reader provide you with their impression of your message and tone after reading the document. What is the take-home message? Does any language stand out as surprising, confusing, or inappropriate? Where is the writing more or less persuasive? If you would like more ideas, see our handout on getting feedback .

There are many circumstances in which business writing is your opportunity to make a first impression, such as in a cover letter. In these scenarios, attention detail is especially important. A useful strategy for revising a piece of business writing is to use the acronym CLOUD: Coherence, Length, Organization, Unity, and Development. Contemplating each of these elements can help you to think about how each section communicates your ideas to your audience and how the sections work together to emphasize the most important parts of your message.

Going through the CLOUD acronym, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • How coherent is each individual component of your document?
  • Does each component follow length guidelines (if provided) or otherwise convey your message concisely? Our handout on conciseness gives 7 common writing patterns that make writing less concise that you may want to keep in mind when writing for business.
  • Is the information clearly organized ?
  • How unified is the message conveyed by all of the components taken together?
  • Are your ideas fully- developed , or might your reader find themselves with any important questions?

As you answer these questions and start revising, revisiting your purpose, audience, style, and structure can help you address the concerns you’ve identified through CLOUD. Once you’ve considered these elements, soliciting feedback from another person can help you ensure your draft is clear and your ideas are fully-developed . Proofreading can help you identify errors and assess the tone of your document, while reading your draft aloud lets you hear your words and estimate your own tone.

Examples of business writing

Now that you’re ready to start writing, you may want to see some examples of business writing to guide your drafting process. Below, you can learn more about and see examples of two business writing contexts: cover letters for applications and cover letters for sending information. For more examples, explore the University Career Services’ Resumes and Letters portal .

Cover letters for applications

Maybe you have been asked to write an application cover letter for a job or a scholarship. This type of cover letter is used to introduce yourself and explain why you are qualified for a given opportunity, and your objective is to catch the reader’s attention and convince them that you are a qualified candidate for the job. Although this type of letter has some unique considerations and conventions, it still follows the OABC organization pattern and is generally 3-4 paragraphs in length.

  • Opening: In the opening section of your letter, indicate your reason for writing. This generally includes mentioning the job title (if applicable) and how you heard about the position. Be specific about how you learned of the job.
  • Agenda: In a cover letter, your agenda section sets the stage for a discussion of your qualifications by first summarizing your interest in the position, company, or organization. What sets you apart from your competitors? Why are you interested in working in this particular position or company? This section may be combined with the first paragraph.
  • Body: This is where you highlight your qualifications for the job including your work experience, activities that show your leadership skills, and your educational background. If you are applying for a specific job, include any information pertinent to the position that is not included in your resume. You might also identify other ways you are a good fit for the company or position, such as specialized skills you have acquired. Illustrate how the experiences and skills from your resume qualify you for the job rather than merely repeating information as it is presented in your resume.
  • Closing: Now that you have demonstrated your interest and fit to the reader, it is time to request an interview and, if necessary, refer them to your resume. State how you can be reached and include your contact information for follow-up. Be sure to close the letter by thanking the reader for their time and consideration before typing and printing your salutation and name.

Two sample letters of application are presented below. The first letter (Sample #1) is by a recent college graduate responding to a local newspaper article about the company’s plan to build a new computer center. The writer is not applying for a specific job opening but describes the position he seeks. The second letter (Sample #2) is from a college senior who does not specify where she learned of the opening because she is uncertain whether a position is available.

6123 Farrington Road Apt. B11 Chapel Hill, NC 27514

January 11, 2020

Taylor, Inc. 694 Rockstar Lane Durham, NC 27708

Dear Human Resources Director:

I just read an article in the News and Observer about Taylor’s new computer center just north of Durham. I would like to apply for a position as an entry-level programmer at the center.

I understand that Taylor produces both in-house and customer documentation. My technical writing skills, as described in the enclosed resume, are well suited to your company. I am a recent graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology in Atlanta with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science. In addition to having taken a broad range of courses, I served as a computer consultant at the college’s computer center where I helped train users to work with new systems.

I will be happy to meet with you at your convenience and discuss how my education and experience match your needs. You can reach me at (919) 233-1552 or at [email protected] . Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Raymond Krock

6123 Farrington Road Apt. G11 Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Dear Ms. LaMonica Jones:

I am seeking a position in your engineering department where I may use my training in computer sciences to solve Taylor’s engineering problems. I would like to be a part of the department that developed the Internet Selection System but am unsure whether you have a current opening.

I expect to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University in May and by that time will have completed the Computer Systems Engineering Program. Since September 2019 I have been participating, through the University, in the Professional Training Program at Computer Systems International in Raleigh. In the program I was assigned to several staff sections as an apprentice. Most recently, I have been a programmer trainee in the Engineering Department and have gained a great deal of experience in computer applications. Details of the academic courses I have taken are included in the enclosed resume.

If there is a position open at Taylor Inc., please let me know whom I should contact for further information. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I may be reached at my office (919-866-4000, ext. 232) or via email ( [email protected] ). Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Rebecca Brock

Cover letters for sending information

Some cover letters simply provide a record of the transmittal of information—say, sending your resume to a recruiter or submitting your project for a class—and may even take the form of an email. Although they are short, to-the-point, and often only one or two brief paragraphs in length, these messages still follow the basic guidelines of business writing by using the OABC organization pattern in a more condensed format:

  • Opening: Briefly explain what you are sending and why.
  • Agenda: In an optional second paragraph, you might include a summary of the information you are sending as an agenda for your reader. A letter accompanying a proposal, for example, might point out sections in the proposal that might be of particular interest to the reader.
  • Body: You could then go on to present a key point or two explaining why your firm is the best one for the job.
  • Closing: You might end your letter with acknowledgements, offer additional assistance, or express the hope that the material will fulfill its purpose.

The following are examples of these kinds of cover letters. The first letter (Sample #1) is brief and to the point. The second letter (Sample #2) is slightly more detailed because it touches on the manner in which the information was gathered.

Your Company Logo and Contact Information

Brian Eno, Chief Engineer Carolina Chemical Products 3434 Pond View Lane Durham, NC 27708

Dear Mr. Eno:

Enclosed is the final report, which we send with Eastern’s Permission, on our installment of pollution control equipment at Eastern Chemical Company,. Please call me at (919) 962-7710 or email me at the address below if I can answer any questions.

Nora Cassidy Technical Services Manager [email protected]

Enclosure: Report

Brian Eno, Chief Engineer Ecology Systems, Inc. 8458 Obstructed View Lane Durham, NC 27708

Enclosed is the report estimating our power consumption for the year as requested by John Brenan, Vice President, on September 4.

The report is the result of several meetings with Jamie Anson, Manager of Plant Operations, and her staff and an extensive survey of all our employees. The survey was delayed by the transfer of key staff in Building A. We believe, however, that the report will provide the information you need to furnish us with a cost estimate for the installation of your Mark II Energy Saving System.

We would like to thank Billy Budd of ESI for his assistance in preparing the survey. If you need more information, please let me know.

Sincerely, Nora Cassidy New Projects Office [email protected]

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Baker, William H., and Matthew J. Baker. 2015. Writing & Speaking for Business , 4th ed. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Academic Publishing.

Covey, Stephen. 2002. Style Guide for Business and Technical Writing , 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Franklin Covey.

Locker, Kitty, and Donna Kienzer. 2012. Business and Administrative Communication , 10th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

O’Hara, Carolyn. 2014. “How to Improve Your Business Writing.” Harvard Business Review , 20 Nov. 2014. https://hbr.org/2014/11/how-to-improve-your-business-writing .

United States Government. 2011. “Federal Plain Language Guideline.” Plain Language, March 2011. https://www.plainlanguage.gov/guidelines/ .

University of North Carolina Writing Program. 2019. The Tar Heel Writing Guide , rev. ed. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Writing Program.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Best Practices for Business Writing

Clear and Concise Language is the Key to Getting Your Message Across

Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Business writing is a  professional communication tool (also known as business communication or professional writing) corporations and other professional entities use to communicate with either an internal or external audience . Memorandums, reports, proposals,  emails , and a variety of other business-related written materials are all forms of business writing.

Tips for Effective Business Writing

The purpose of business writing is transactional. Of course, the content of business writing relates to a business entity but it also relates to a specific and purposeful transaction between the writer and his or her audience. According to Brant W. Knapp, author of A Project Manager's Guide to Passing the Project Management Exam , the best business writing can be "understood clearly when read quickly. The message should be well planned, simple, clear, and direct."

Fast Facts: Basic Business Writing Goals

  • Convey Information : Forms of business communication, such as research reports or policy memos, are written to disseminate knowledge.
  • Deliver News : Professional writing is often used to share recent events and accomplishments with both internal and external audiences.
  • Call to Action : Business professionals use writing in an attempt to influence others for numerous reasons including selling merchandise and passing legislature.
  • Explain or Justify an Action : Professional communication allows a business entity to explain their beliefs or to justify their actions.

The following tips, adapted from Oxford Living Dictionaries , form a good foundation for business writing best practices.

  • Put your main points first. State exactly why you're writing the correspondence upfront. One exception to this rule is for sales letters. Reminding the recipient of a past meeting or a common connection you share is an acceptable way to open as it may influence the recipient to be more amenable to your intended aims.
  • Use everyday words. Using words such as "about" rather than "concerning," "expect" rather than "anticipate," and "part" instead of "component" will make your writing less stilted.
  • Know your audience. Unless it's aimed at an industry-specific audience, don't fill your writing with lots of technical jargon (specifics can be attached separately.) Adjust your tone to suit your intended reader. For instance, a letter of complaint would have a far different tone than a letter of reference. Finally—this should go without saying—never use derogatory or sexist language, and actively work to  eliminate gender-biased language from any form of business communication.
  • Use contractions when possible. Business writing has undergone a shift from formal to a more accessible style, so using "we’re" not "we are," and "we’ve" not "we have" is the way to go. Even so, you don't always have to use a contraction. A good rule of thumb is that if a contraction improves the sentence flow, use it; if the sentence is more persuasive without it, use two words.
  • Use active rather than passive verbs. Active verbs allow the reader to comprehend quickly and understand more completely. For example, "The decision has implemented to suspend production," leaves the interpretation of who made the decision to call it quits open. On the other hand, the meaning of, "We've decided to suspend production," is clear.
  • Write tight . Again, using the example above, choosing the word "decided" rather than "made the decision" makes reading easier for the audience.
  • Don’t be beholden to rules in every situation. This is a case of knowing your audience. If your aim is to make your writing conversational, it's fine to end a sentence with a preposition now and then, especially to improve flow and avoid awkward construction. That said, while many businesses have their own in-house style guides, elementary rules for style and grammar must be observed for your writing—and you—to be considered professional. Sloppy writing, poor word choice, or an unearned overly familiar attitude can come back to haunt you.
  • Keep your font choices simple . Stick to a nice, clean type style such as Helvetica or Times New Roman and limit the number of fonts you use in correspondence. Your goal is to write something legible and easy to read.
  • Don't overuse visuals. Generally speaking, visuals should be used at a minimum—they should not exceed 25% of your document, memo, email, report, etc. Too many graphics become confusing and often detract from the message you want to convey. A few powerful, well-placed graphics will accomplish more to get your point across than something that looks like a bad attempt at scrapbooking.
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Home » Blog » Best Business Writing Examples

Best Business Writing Examples



Effective business writing helps businesses flourish and allows team members to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. 

Every professional utilizes business letters, newsletters, memos, and progress reports. The main point is to ensure smooth company operations. 

Employees follow standard and template formats for most forms of business writing. Keep in mind that each business writing example follows a certain type. 

In this article, we’ll go over some business writing examples, along with the four categories of business writing. 

Let’s dive right in. 

Business Writing Examples 

The following examples are some of the most common ones you’ll find in any company today. 

Understanding each example will help you improve your business writing skills in any professional setting. 

1. Business Letters 

A business letter is a formal document that an individual sends to their associate, colleagues, or supervisor. 

While business letters have been a print document, for the most part, companies are now moving towards digital business letters. 

Business letters come in handy during hiring, onboarding, and business communication. 

For example, a sales rep may send official sales letters to their clients introducing new products and features. 

Alternatively, it can also include a simple resignation letter by an employee. 

The following are some common business letter examples. 

  • Offer letters 
  • Resignation letters 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Interview follow-up letters 
  • Business proposal letters 
  • Promotion letters 

Most business letters follow a certain format. For example, it needs a formal salutation, subject line, the contact information of the sender and recipient, and a closing statement with the signature. 

The first paragraph is usually the introduction. The body paragraph includes the major chunk of the letter that details the main point and purpose. 

The closing paragraph usually includes well wishes or additional relevant information. 

In some cases, you may have to write the address, job title, and include a rhetorical situation. 

In any case, following the business letter format your industry and organization uses is your best bet. 

Business memos are instruction writing tools for quick formal communication within an organization. 

They are usable for individual communication and also for mass communications. 

For example, the person leading the company wants to share an achievement. They will send a company-wide memo to update each employee. 

Similarly, the human resources department may want to send an update on existing company policies. They will shoot out a company-wide memo or a department-specific memo. 

The memo is short, brief, and extremely concise. That means it only focuses on one purpose or point. 

It shouldn’t take long to read and the subject matter should be easily skimmable. 

However, despite that, you still need to use formal and appropriate language when sending out memos. 

In some cases, memos can include introductions, body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, most memos are only one paragraph long. 

One thing you should keep in mind is that memos need a proper header and subject line to clearly inform the recipients of their purpose. 

Other minor details may include the date, sender’s information, and minor news (good or bad news). 

Emails are extremely popular today but they’re still an example of business writing. It’s perhaps the most common example today. 

Emails allow individuals to convey their message to recipients instantly. On top of that, it allows them to include file attachments. 

While emails allow people to share and provide information or give a task to others, it has much more dynamic use today. 

For example, you can share another business document through email. 

You can share business reports, discuss meeting agenda, attach Microsoft Excel and Word files, provide data visualization avenues, and more. 

Emails contain a salutation, subject line, contact information, a text body, and a closing statement. 

However, there is no single format for an email. In fact, there are various email formats for different kinds of emails, depending on the purpose of your email. 

Furthermore, emails can be less informal than other forms of business writing. However, you still need to use appropriate language. 

Most emails tend to be brief and convey a single message. That’s because longer emails tend to discourage readers. 

That’s why senders have to focus on getting their subject line right, along with the first line of the email body. 

4. Press Releases 

A press release serves as a way of sharing announcements or news with external stakeholders and audiences. 

Organizations tend to utilize press releases to announce achievements, launches, updates, or relevant company changes. 

The public relations department is responsible for this sort of business communication. 

Usually, publishing press releases involve news publications. However, a lot of companies tend to publish them on their websites too now. 

If relevant, some companies also publish them in newspapers. 

Press releases aim to promote organizations and strengthen their reputations. 

At the same time, they’re a good way to tackle negative news or events. 

It’s crucial to use professional language and a formal tone when writing press releases because they’re under the scrutiny of the general public. 

Furthermore, you need to place extra care to maintain the accuracy of all information. 

Most press releases are under 500 words to properly engage the readers. That means they should remain brief, to-the-point, and concise. 

Another common element in press releases is quotes and testimonials from relevant individuals. 

That helps drive a conversation with the public. 

5. Resumes and Cover Letters 

Resumes and cover letters are crucial for the hiring process. They usually work together but it’s not necessary to submit both when applying for a job. 

Since the human resources department looks at resumes and cover letters to see if candidates are a good fit, they are essentially business documents. 

That means it’s crucial to maintain extreme professionalism throughout your resume and cover letters. 

However, today, many people are opting for personalized cover letters and resumes. That means there’s a good chance they don’t follow the general formats. 

Despite that, a certain level of professionalism still needs to remain. 

It’s also a great chance to showcase your business writing skills. If you can write a great resume and cover letter, that’s an instant plus for your candidacy. 

6. Business Reports 

A business report aims to convey important business information and updates on projects to relevant parties. 

Business reports can have multiple purposes, depending on who the recipient is. 

For example, business reports for upper management include milestones, achievements, monthly numbers, advice, and requests. 

Alternatively, a business report for an external client includes information on their project, its impact, results, and future prospects. 

In any case, the report provides relevant data, research, numbers, and other information that can complement the decision-making process. 

There are various kinds of business reports, the most common among them are: 

  • Feasibility reports 
  • Project monthly reports 
  • Compliance reports 
  • Recommendation reports 
  • Quarterly financial reports 
  • Investigative reports 

It’s crucial to maintain objectivity while writing business reports. That’s because you’re only reporting information, facts, and data, not providing opinions.

However, if your objective is to provide advice, solutions, or prospects, you can include opinions. 

But make sure those opinions rely on factual research and data. 

The format of business reports can vary depending on the industry and organization. However, most of them include the following elements: 

  • Executive summary – includes a small summary of the report with key points. 
  • Table of contents – serves to provide a list of relevant headings. 
  • Introduction – acts as a precursor to what readers can expect in the report. 
  • Body – includes all the relevant information. 
  • Concluding statements – consist of results and recommendations. 
  • References – links to other relevant business documents. 
  • Appendix – helps provide information on certain terms and concepts. 

Most business reports today also include relevant data visualization graphics too. 

7. Meeting Agendas 

A meeting agenda helps outline all the topics of any given meeting. It includes the goals the team needs to achieve using the meeting. 

Usually, the manager or the person leading the meeting drafts the meeting agenda. 

They then share it with everyone who will be attending the meeting, along with relevant upper management stakeholders. 

The document helps set the precedent for the meeting. It helps each attendee prepare for the meeting. 

It’s especially useful when the meeting requires input from all parties. 

Meeting agendas help make meetings more efficient, productive, and effective. They also ensure unilateral participation from all attendees. 

Keep in mind that the meeting agenda document is only an outline. That means you don’t have to worry about things like formatting, grammar, or other writing nuisances. 

However, it’s best to use short bullet points to convey the information quickly and efficiently. 

It’s also advisable to address certain elements of the agenda to certain attendees. 

Furthermore, you can allocate certain time limits to various tasks and topics. 

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to include additional details, such as the date, day, time, and location of the meeting. 

8. Newsletters 

A newsletter serves to provide information and relevant news to the readers. They can be internal newsletters or external newsletters, depending on their purpose. 

However, most organizations utilize both. They can serve to relay information or be a way to incorporate persuasive writing. 

Most large companies and enterprises have internal newsletters. Most have separate newsletters for the staff of different departments. 

It makes department-wide and company-wide announcements smoother and easier. 

A scheduled newsletter allows the company to consistently inform all staff of relevant updates. 

That eliminates the need for individual memos, update messages, or unnecessary emails. 

Most internal newsletters are monthly and also tend to include promotions for employees. 

Similarly, external newsletters aim to provide relevant information, updates, and content to external readers. 

For example, when you subscribe to a blog, you’re essentially subscribing to their monthly or weekly newsletter. 

Most newsletters are less formal than other forms of business writing. They tend to have a conversational tone. 

The idea is to celebrate successes, highlight achievements, and build excitement for upcoming launches or events. 

Therefore, it’s important to use relatively casual language. 

Furthermore, newsletters also focus on visual elements. The idea is to engage the readers and the best way to do that is to add visuals. 

That includes graphics, vectors, infographics, 2D animations, and even videos. 

However, it’s important to stay consistent with the company’s style guide in all cases to maintain your brand. 

Four Types of Business Writing 

For the most part, we can divide business writing into four categories. It’s important to categorize them because it’s easier to differentiate their formats, style guides, and message. 

In any case, the following are the four types of business writing. 

  • Informational Business Writing – aims to provide information to the readers and stakeholders. It can be anything from progress reports to process documentation, financial performance reports, contact information, and informative magazines. 
  • Instructional Business Writing – helps provide relevant instructions, guidance, and directions to the readers. It can include a user manual, a maintenance process, and even a style guide. 
  • Persuasive Business Writing – aims to convince the readers of something, commonly a positive outcome. The writing style focuses on using a tone that can sway readers towards a certain opinion. You’ll find that business proposals, presentations, and meeting agendas fall under persuasive writing. You can also include things like a press release and cover letter in it. 
  • Transactional Business Writing – is about professional communication. It involves recording business information accurately and sharing it. That’s why it can include simple things like memos and email. Meanwhile, it also includes official letters, receipts, and bulleted lists of clients. 

The business writing types above can easily include all types of business documents. 

It’s important to be able to differentiate among various types because it helps format your document better. 

Other things it helps with are the sentence structure, grammar, and how you write each body paragraph. 

In any case, keep in mind you always need to avoid jargon, avoid passive voice, left justify everything, utilize bullet points, and keep your business writing concise at all times. 

Wrapping It Up 

If you’re good at technical writing or you can write a great article, it doesn’t mean you’re good at business writing. 

There’s a certain writing process that goes into business writing. You need to find the right balance of professionalism, writing, and communication. 

The idea isn’t to provide the best value but to easily communicate with relevant stakeholders. 

Take the business writing examples above as a foundation to learn more about business writing and improve your writing skills. 

Josh Fechter

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Business Communication  - Business Writing Essentials

Business communication  -, business writing essentials, business communication business writing essentials.

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Business Communication: Business Writing Essentials

Lesson 6: business writing essentials.


Business writing essentials

business writing forms

At some point in your professional life, you may need to write something. It’s nothing to be intimidated by, though!

Business writing is any written communication used in a professional setting, including emails , memos , and reports . It’s direct, clear, and designed to be read quickly. With time and practice, you too can become an effective business writer.

Watch the video below to learn some tips for business writing.

The basics of business writing

Good business writing shares crucial information and keeps the concerns of the audience in mind. So before you write anything, ask yourself these two questions:

What do I need to say?

Who is my audience?

Your answers will influence what and how you write, so take a moment to understand exactly why you’re writing. If you can’t clearly answer these questions, you’ll probably have trouble communicating effectively.

Most business writing needs a call to action , which is information that instructs and encourages a response. Let your readers know what they should do, where to go, and so on. Provide your contact information (such as your phone number or email address) in case anyone has questions. Essentially, make sure everyone knows what their next move should be, like in the following example.

business writing forms

Writing craft

Get to the point quickly. Do you need to tell your employees about a change in work schedules or an update to company policy? Tell them what they should know upfront, and don’t leave them guessing.

Make every sentence as short and clear as possible. Simplify your word choices, as you shouldn’t use complex words when simple ones will do. Also, cut any rambling thoughts. A company-wide memo about a health insurance change is not the best place to mention your recent fishing trip. In short, always omit needless words .

Although you’re in a professional setting, remember to speak to others how you would like to be spoken to. Consider using a brief greeting or conclusion, especially if you’re sharing unpleasant news, and remember that saying please and thank you goes a long way. And whenever you’re in doubt as to whether something is appropriate to write, don’t include it.

Aim to keep your paragraphs brief, as they will add focus to your message while making it easier to scan and remember. The example below is an efficient read, thanks to short paragraphs, clear sentences, and a polite, professional tone.

business writing forms

Good writing comes out of revision , so read over your first draft and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Clarify sentences and organize the loose structure until everything flows in a logical order. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few revisions until your document is ready to go.

As part of your revision process, try reading your work aloud, which may reveal problems you may not have noticed before. You can also get someone you trust to provide feedback on your work. Hearing their perspective can lead to new insights and issues you never knew were there.

Proofreading is another key part of revision. After you use a spell checker, read over your work again and look for spelling and grammar errors the spell checker may have missed. Also take a moment to ensure the information you’re writing about is accurate and up to date. If you submit incorrect information or sloppy writing, you may not be taken seriously. Does the following example look professional?

business writing forms

Remember, you won’t master business writing overnight. Effective writing is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to develop. But once you get comfortable with it, you’ll possess an incredibly valuable job skill.



Business Writing: An Introduction

Almost all business activities are envisioned, planned, implemented and analyzed in some form of the written word. These forms include reports, and report summaries , letters , memos , and email , any document, in fact, that communicates something about business. Collectively, they are the hard-copy paper trails recording the proposals, activities and results of countless business transactions. Public and private entities rely upon these documents to communicate vital information, both internally and externally, regarding the condition and conduct of their business. It is fundamentally important that they be written in a clear and concise manner. When they are, the risk of miscommunication is greatly reduced. Poorly written business documents can produce unintended results and potentially disastrous consequences. Strong writing competencies can help reduce or avoid this all together. Well chosen words, well organized and well written, increase the likelihood of effective business communication. That said, business writing is as simple as eating an elephant. Do it one bite at a time. Think strategically, divide and conquer. Writing is a process consisting of several interrelated steps:


  • Review and Revision

These steps break the larger writing task into smaller ones. Proceeding through them one at a time will help you write successful business documents. Depending on the complexity of the writing task, they will be either more or less demanding. An annual report requires far more, for instance, than a memo.

Preparing to write is as important as the act itself. There are three preliminary considerations that are fundamental to the task. You must establish a document's objective, identify its readers and determine its scope. All other steps in the writing process follow and develop from these determinations. Objective Establishing an objective will answer one critical question about your writing task. What do you want the reader to know or do, or be able to do after reading your document? The answer needs to be specific and detailed. If the objective is too general it will be difficult, if not impossible, to present a credible argument or a compelling reason to read the document. For Example:

Not So Good: To explain the proposed cafeteria at Better Widget Makers, Inc. Good: To explain how the newly proposed cafeteria at Better Widget Makers, Inc. will benefit the employees, the company and the Silver City community.

A specific objective, simply stated, can be viewed as a thesis statement for your writing project. Notice how the above example includes three main topic areas and how easy it will be to convert them into main headings below the thesis statement in an outline. Readers Identifying your readers will answer another critical question about the writing task. How can you help them understand your objective? Knowing who your readers are and what they need from you is crucial to satisfying your objective. It will also determine the scope of your writing task. Successful business writers know that the answers to who and what will lead to how. So target your audience and get to know a few things about them. Ask yourself some key questions. Who is going to read your document? Will it be one person or many? Are you writing a letter to a new client or a quarterly summary for the Chief Financial Officer? Are you writing a departmental memo or the shareholders annual report? What information will they need? Notice the hierarchical status of different readers. Understand that this status defines the reader's relationship to a subject or topic. It indicates something about what their perspective or personal interest might be and something about how much they might already know, or how much they might need to know about the material. Once you have a clear understanding of your audience you are prepared to determine the scope of your document, write effectively, both of which will help your readers understand your objective. Scope Determining the scope of your writing task will answer a final question? What kind of information is needed, and how much of it will be enough for the reader to understand your objective? In light of both the objective and the audience, this will either be elementary, intermediate or advanced? What and how much to include is a decision based on who the reader is, why they were targeted and what relationship they have to your document's topic. Successful business writers keep all of this in mind as they gather information in the research step of the writing process.

Research is an investigative process. The information and data necessary for the completion of a writing task is gathered in this step. The amount required will depend upon the document's primary objective , the breadth of its scope and its intended audience : the more complex your topic, the more in depth the research. A letter or memo may require no more than a list of related ideas and your research may consist only of finding the name of the contact person to whom you are writing. A report or summary, on the other hand, may require something more. Before writing a report projecting the earnings-to-expense ratio for the coming year,for instance, you might want to meet with the accounting staff for a review of quarterly financials from previous years. Regardless of the amount of research, the information you gather will fall into one of two categories. Depending upon the source, your information will be either primary or secondary. Depending upon your objective, scope and audience you may rely more heavily on one than the other. Information gathered from multiple sources will provide the facts that substantiate and clarify your objective. As you identify relevant sources of information, include yourself. Personal experience counts. After all, among the credentials underscoring your involvement in the writing task are your background qualifications and your first-hand knowledge of the topic. Search your own personal resources. Check your own databases. Look in the file cabinet. As your research progresses, compile notes, either on index cards or in a computer. Include what you already know about the subject and what remains to be discovered. Brainstorm with yourself and others. Ask lots of questions. Who, what, and where? When, how and why? Note your sources and double-check your facts. Accuracy is mandatory. The Writing Studio's Bibliography Tool allows you to take and organize your notes and sources. Thorough research is the backbone of any successful business document. Once completed, you must organize your notes and prepare an outline that illustrates the manner in which your information will be presented in the written document.

Organizing is a sorting and categorizing procedure. It prepares the writer to present research materials in a methodical manner. It is also the design stage of a writing task, the step in which decisions are made on how a topic will be developed. A well-organized presentation maximizes the likelihood that your reader will easily comprehend the scope of your writing task, the more likely it is that these groups will develop into distinct sections of your finished document. Once your notes are organized you are ready to construct an outline, the scaffolding upon which you hang the beginning, middle and ending of your writing project. It will provide the kind of infrastructure that, without, writing projects quickly fall apart. As you begin drafting the written elements of your document, a well-constructed outline will help shape and control your thinking.

An outline is a blueprint or set of plans for a written document. It should be constructed after you have decided upon the organizational method with which you are going to present your research material. Its purpose is to show you where everything is going to go in your finished document. The complexity of your outline will depend upon the extent, or scope , of your writing task. Letters and memos require only a simple list such as that found in Sample 1. Summaries and reports, on the other hand, may require more complete sets of instruction such as those found in Sample 2 and Sample 3. The difference between them is in their levels of formality. Sample 2 falls midway between a low level and a high level of formality and might be used for a summary report. Regardless of its complexity, an outline describes the decisions you have already thought out and places the content you intend to include in your document in a sequential order. A well-built one serves as a guideline when developing your rough draft, and a point of reference when reviewing and revising your writing. It will help keep you on track. Sample 1: Simple List A simple list is an informal ordering of the main points a writer intends to include in a written document. Like a grocery list, its purpose is largely as a reminder and can be made of words, phrases or complete sentences. In the sample below Ms. Ida Mae Knott, the purchasing agent for Better Widget Makers, Inc., has outlined the main points she intends to include in an inquiry letter to the Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at the Golden Bread Company. She has made a simple list of phrases and notes to help guide her letter-writing task. Ms. Ida Mae Knott's Inquiry Letter Outline 1) Contact Person - Mr. Russ Hamilton - VP Sales & Marketing - Get address. 2) New cafeteria almost complete - Need food vendors 3) Bakery goods to be outsourced - Need wholesale contract soon 4) Dangle carrot - buying locally is company policy 5) Building pro forma - Supply internal logistics - Ask for help 6) List of info needed - Price sheets - Cost breaks - Annual discounts - Other 7) Mention deadline Not all lists are as simple as Ms. Ida Mae's. An outline for a short summary of an annual stockholder's report might include whole paragraphs, as in Sample 2, with more details regarding which important points from each section of the report should be included in the summary. Sample 2: Intermediate Outline Sample 3: Complex Outline A complex outline has headings and subheadings for each topic. Main topics become main headings. Key points become subheadings, and lesser subordinate points. In this way a complex subject can be divided into its parts and the whole project seen and thought about more clearly. These divisions are quite often sentence fragments. Take each one and turn them into complete sentences. Main headings can be turned into topic sentences and subheadings can be turned into supporting sentences. The details form your research notes will fill in the body of your text.

This step in the writing process is often considered the most difficult. Experienced writers avoid undo frustration with careful and systematic preparation. They establish their objectives , identify their readers and determine the scope of their projects first. They conduct research and organize their ideas and information before beginning a draft. Once these preparations are well in hand, it is time to start a rough draft of a writing project. This task is not without its difficulties, but neither is it as hard as you might think. Remember that you are already prepared, that you already have an outline. All you are going to do now is enlarge it, fill it in with details from your research notes. Keep a few things in mind. A rough draft is not a finished document. No one but you ever has to see it. Don't worry about polishing what you write. Just write. Don't worry about beginnings, middles and endings. Just write. Start where you are most comfortable and most knowledgeable. Don't worry about spelling, grammar and punctuation. Don't worry about fragments, run-on sentences or transitions. A rough draft is supposed to be rough. If it is not, you have gotten ahead of yourself in the writing process. Focus on the ideas you want to present. Get them down on paper as straightforward as possible. Consult your outline as you work. You might consider sharing your work with others early on in the drafting process. Collaborative input from business associates can be very helpful in evaluating how well your objective is being met. Collaboration at this stage also acts as a safety net. Two sets of eyes will analyze content and spot mistakes quicker than one. This can be a real time saver and in business, time is money. And finally, don't get discouraged if writing a rough draft turns out to be rough going. Even experienced business writers encounter obstacles at this stage of the process. It is often called writer's block and there are tactics with which it can be overcome. Keep in mind that whether your writing task is a letter, or a memo , a report or a summary , the finished document will come when you review and revise the rough draft.

Reviewing and Revising

Reviewing and revising a rough draft transforms your writing into a finished business document. This is a crucial step and should be done with a great deal of care. Approach it rested. As a matter of fact, when your rough draft is complete, set it aside for a day or two. Distancing yourself like this will do you a world of good; it will clear your head. When you return to your draft you will be able to review and revise it with a sharper, more objective and critical eye, first as its reader and then as its writer. Adopting the reader's point of view will allow you to assess whether or not the writer's objective was met. Being both reader and writer places you in a unique position to analyze what you have written. After all, you are the only reader who knows what the writer was thinking and what the intended scope of the document is and what message it is supposed to convey. This is a distinct advantage. Be painstakingly honest with yourself, and fussy, too. Remember, whether by a large or a small degree, once you have reviewed and revised your draft you and your writing are going public. Critiquing your own writing can be a daunting challenge, but with practice and a good set of guidelines, this step of the writing process does become easier. A handful of key questions encompass the main points that review and revision should cover. By approaching the process with a checklist, you can divide the task into smaller ones, each of which can be tackled individually. When you have completed your checklist, ask one of your associates to give it a final read. In-house collaboration will help ensure that your final document meets its objective. Check the list twice, in other words.

Review and Revision Checklist

The following list of questions is a guide to help you review and revise your writing. The questions themselves are in no particular order and may be tackled according to your own preference. Every writer works differently. Start with what makes the most sense to you, or what you are most comfortable with, and proceed from there. Regardless of where you begin, be meticulous. Have your outline handy and refer to it as you work.

  • Is your document complete? If not, what is missing? Does it begin with an appropriate opening or introduction? Does it end with a logical conclusion It is not unusual for these items to be left out until the body of the document has been drafted.
  • Does the content of your document read with a sense of unity and coherence? If not, why? Are the transitions between paragraphs weak? Is the point of view> consistent? Unity and coherence will be evident when each sentence in a paragraph advances the main point stated in the topic sentence, and each paragraph advances the main topic of the document, and each of these units is clearly related to the one before it and the one following.
  • Do the most important points in your document stand out from the lesser ones? If not, how can they be repositioned? The proper emphasis> and subordination> of ideas can be achieved through changing their placement within a sentence, paragraph or document.
  • Are the ideas in your document clearly stated? If not, what obstructs their clarity? Is your word choice appropriate throughout the document? Have new or unfamiliar terms been properly defined or explained? Are there any phrases that obscure the clarity of your ideas?
  • Is your document presented in an appropriate style? If not, how can it be corrected? Is your voice active or passive? Is your writing positive or negative? Is the pace appropriate? Style is concerned with readability, the manner in which a document is written, rather than its substance. Good writing style helps the reader comprehend the substance of your document.
  • Does your document sound awkward? If so, how can its content be better articulated? Is your tone consistent? Read the document out loud or have one of your associates read it to you rather than relying on your inner ear. Listen for the natural rhythm of the spoken word. Are there any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors? Recognizing and solving these kinds of problems will smooth out the rough edges of your document and improve the natural flow of your ideas.

Citation Information

Peter Connor. (1994-2024). Business Writing: An Introduction. The WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University. Available at https://wac.colostate.edu/repository/writing/guides/.

Copyright Information

Copyright © 1994-2024 Colorado State University and/or this site's authors, developers, and contributors . Some material displayed on this site is used with permission.

Business Writing

All writing you do in a business context should be focused on audience needs and expectations. The rhetorical strategies you have learned in first-year composition or its equivalent will be very helpful for you in a business context. However, the forms and expectations (the genre conventions) of business writing can make effective business communication appear very different from the writing you may be familiar with from your other coursework. This handout provides several key tips and considerations for bridging between your previous writing preparation and the expectations of the business professions and majors.

Audience and Rhetorical Situation

  • Remember that many different parts make up a whole document: you are a writer using a text to convey knowledge to your audience for some purpose . All communication exists within the constraints of this rhetorical situation, or context, as represented by Aristotle's triangle to the right. Considering the rhetorical situation of your particular communication—the particular relationships of these parts—will help you craft an appropriate, rhetorically savvy communication.
  • Identify your audience (s) and their important characteristics (the business environment, values and goals, communication practices, relationship to you, relationship to the topic, relationship to your purpose).
  • Identify your purpose and how best to achieve it. What do you want readers to know, do, or feel after reading your document? Align your tone, organization, and content to bring about what you intend.
  • Focus on what your audience needs to know and on what your audience has asked you to supply—not on everything you have done or learned about the topic.
  • Make sure you understand your task and/or do what you've been asked to do. If your manager asks you to summarize and analyze market trends, make sure to include both summary and analysis. Demonstrate to your reader that you are in control of the information.
  • Consider your writing thoroughly public. What are the potential ways your document might be used and who are the potential audiences that could read your writing? Consider how those audiences would react if they read your document. Is this the response you intend?

Form and Format

  • Think about genre. What form of writing is most appropriate for the rhetorical situation? An email? A memo? A report?
  • Front load your topic, theme, claim, overriding conclusion in the first paragraph or sentence. Don't save the best for last.
  • Though you will need to provide some context for the reader, a long introduction is not usually necessary.
  • Use headings to group, organize, and quickly communicate. Take your cue from the project assignment or instructions. If your boss asks you to write a report detailing the history, ramifications, and potential changes of a trend, include headings titled "History," "Ramifications," and "Potential Changes."
  • If writing a memo or email, strategically use the "Subject" or "Re: " line—particularly important in the era of e-mail when a person may base his or her decision to read further on that one line.
  • A narrative of your research process is an inefficient way to communicate your findings. The document should present a developed idea, not a record of how your idea developed.
  • Break up long paragraphs; the shorter the better. Consider using bullet points introduced by a short paragraph or phrase for context.
  • Use clear and precise wording to avoid misinterpretation or confusion.
  • Make sure connections are readily apparent. Although smooth flow isn't imperative, your audience should quickly see how the points you raise relate to the topic at hand.
  • Eliminate as many throw away words as possible ("that," "really," "very").
  • Use strong verbs (avoid "be," "is," "am," "are," "was," "were," "been" "being"). Edit to revise passive voice.
  • Remove unnecessary phrases such as "It is important to note that," or substitute a single word for wordy phrases such as "because" for "due to the fact that."
  • Consider your tone. Provide the reader with the information he or she needs, but don't be condescending, demanding, or overly critical. Also, be wary of the use of "we" or "I." Is it appropriate for the subject, audience, and rhetorical situation?
  • Proofread carefully. Misspelled words and simple grammar mistakes are simply unacceptable and will damage your credibility in the eyes of your reader.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Writing the Basic Business Letter

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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Parts of a Business Letter

This resource is organized in the order in which you should write a business letter, starting with the sender's address if the letter is not written on letterhead.

Sender's Address

The sender's address usually is included in letterhead. If you are not using letterhead, include the sender's address at the top of the letter one line above the date. Do not write the sender's name or title, as it is included in the letter's closing. Include only the street address, city, and zip code.

The date line is used to indicate the date the letter was written. However, if your letter is completed over a number of days, use the date it was finished in the date line. When writing to companies within the United States, use the American date format. (The United States-based convention for formatting a date places the month before the day. For example: June 11, 2001. ) Write out the month, day and year two inches from the top of the page. Depending which format you are using for your letter, either left justify the date or tab to the center point and type the date. In the latter case, include the sender's address in letterhead, rather than left-justified.

Inside Address

The inside address is the recipient's address. It is always best to write to a specific individual at the firm to which you are writing. If you do not have the person's name, do some research by calling the company or speaking with employees from the company. Include a personal title such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr. Follow a woman's preference in being addressed as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. If you are unsure of a woman's preference in being addressed, use Ms. If there is a possibility that the person to whom you are writing is a Dr. or has some other title, use that title. Usually, people will not mind being addressed by a higher title than they actually possess. To write the address, use the U.S. Post Office Format. For international addresses, type the name of the country in all-capital letters on the last line. The inside address begins one line below the date. It should be left justified, no matter which format you are using.

Use the same name as the inside address, including the personal title. If you know the person and typically address them by their first name, it is acceptable to use only the first name in the salutation (for example: Dear Lucy:). In all other cases, however, use the personal title and last/family name followed by a colon. Leave one line blank after the salutation.

If you don't know a reader's gender, use a nonsexist salutation, such as their job title followed by the receiver's name. It is also acceptable to use the full name in a salutation if you cannot determine gender. For example, you might write Dear Chris Harmon: if you were unsure of Chris's gender.

For block and modified block formats, single space and left justify each paragraph within the body of the letter. Leave a blank line between each paragraph. When writing a business letter, be careful to remember that conciseness is very important. In the first paragraph, consider a friendly opening and then a statement of the main point. The next paragraph should begin justifying the importance of the main point. In the next few paragraphs, continue justification with background information and supporting details. The closing paragraph should restate the purpose of the letter and, in some cases, request some type of action.

The closing begins at the same vertical point as your date and one line after the last body paragraph. Capitalize the first word only (for example: Thank you) and leave four lines between the closing and the sender's name for a signature. If a colon follows the salutation, a comma should follow the closing; otherwise, there is no punctuation after the closing.

If you have enclosed any documents along with the letter, such as a resume, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosures below the closing. As an option, you may list the name of each document you are including in the envelope. For instance, if you have included many documents and need to ensure that the recipient is aware of each document, it may be a good idea to list the names.

Typist initials

Typist initials are used to indicate the person who typed the letter. If you typed the letter yourself, omit the typist initials.

A Note About Format and Font

Block Format

When writing business letters, you must pay special attention to the format and font used. The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

Modified Block

Another widely utilized format is known as modified block format. In this type, the body of the letter and the sender's and recipient's addresses are left justified and single-spaced. However, for the date and closing, tab to the center point and begin to type.

The final, and least used, style is semi-block. It is much like the modified block style except that each paragraph is indented instead of left justified.

Keep in mind that different organizations have different format requirements for their professional communication. While the examples provided by the OWL contain common elements for the basic business letter (genre expectations), the format of your business letter may need to be flexible to reflect variables like letterheads and templates. Our examples are merely guides.

If your computer is equipped with Microsoft Office 2000, the Letter Wizard can be used to take much of the guesswork out of formatting business letters. To access the Letter Wizard, click on the Tools menu and then choose Letter Wizard. The Wizard will present the three styles mentioned here and input the date, sender address and recipient address into the selected format. Letter Wizard should only be used if you have a basic understanding of how to write a business letter. Its templates are not applicable in every setting. Therefore, you should consult a business writing handbook if you have any questions or doubt the accuracy of the Letter Wizard.

Another important factor in the readability of a letter is the font. The generally accepted font is Times New Roman, size 12, although other fonts such as Arial may be used. When choosing a font, always consider your audience. If you are writing to a conservative company, you may want to use Times New Roman. However, if you are writing to a more liberal company, you have a little more freedom when choosing fonts.


Punctuation after the salutation and closing - use a colon (:) after the salutation (never a comma) and a comma (,) after the closing. In some circumstances, you may also use a less common format, known as open punctuation. For this style, punctuation is excluded after the salutation and the closing.

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Legal Templates

Home Real Estate Lease Agreement

Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Use our Lease Agreement to rent out your residential property.

Standard Lease Agreement

Updated May 15, 2024 Written by Jana Freer | Reviewed by Susan Chai, Esq.

A lease agreement (or rental agreement) is a document that explains the terms under which a tenant rents a residential or commercial property from a landlord.

Lease agreements are legally binding contracts that explain the obligations and rights of the tenant and landlord. Even if you’re renting out a room in your house to a friend or family member, you need a lease agreement for legal protection if you encounter problems with your tenants.

Lease Agreements – By State

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia
  • Lease Agreements - By State
  • Lease Agreements - By Type

How to Lease a Property [Landlord Lifecycle]

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Security Deposit

Lease terms to know, how to write (fill out) a lease/rental agreement, sample lease agreement, frequently asked questions, lease agreements – by type, residential lease agreement forms [for landlords].

Standard Residential Lease Agreement Template

Use this template to rent out a residential property for a fixed period of typically one year.

This agreement includes the most essential and common clauses and can be used for a house, apartment, studio, condo, duplex, townhouse, basement, or mobile home.

Standard Lease Agreement

month to month residential lease agreement template

Use this template if you don’t want to commit to renting out your property for a full year or more, but still need to protect your rights. Using a monthly lease allows you (and your tenant) to be flexible.

Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

vacation rental short term lease agreement template

Use this template to rent out your property for a short period of time (usually between 1–31 days), most commonly as a vacation rental. A short-term rental agreement explains to guests the rules of their stay, and what they can expect when they arrive.

Short Term (Vacation) Rental

rent to own lease agreement template

Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement

lease extension agreement template

Lease Extension Agreement

lease renewal form template

Lease Renewal Agreement

Sublease agreement forms [for tenants].

sublease agreement template

Use this template to rent out a property (or just a room) when you’re already renting the property from another landlord. For example, you may want to sublet a property if you need to move out but don’t want to break your lease.

Sublease Agreement

Room Rental Agreement Template

Use this template when you’re renting out a room in your property and need to set rules and boundaries. For example, you can use this agreement to explain how you'll divide rent and utility payments, and whether your tenant can have guests visit.

Room Rental Agreement

roommate agreement sample

Roommate Agreement

Commercial lease agreement forms.

sample of a commercial lease agreement template

Use this template if you’re renting out an office building, retail space, restaurant, industrial facility, or any property where the tenant will operate a business.

Commercial Lease Agreement

sample image of a land lease agreement

Use this template to rent out a piece of land that does not have a property on it. A land or ground lease can have multiple purposes, including agricultural, residential, and commercial.

Land Lease Agreement

equipment lease agreement template

Equipment Lease Agreement

parking space lease agreement

Parking Space Rental Agreement

Disclosures & addendums.

eviction notice template

Commercial Lease Agreement Addendum

Residential Lease Agreement Addendum

Residential Lease Agreement Amendment

amendment to lease agreement

Lease Agreement Amendment

rental inspection checklist template

Rental Inspection Checklist

Rent Receipt Template

Rent Receipt

rental application approval letter

Tenant Approval Letter

rental application rejection letter

Tenant Rejection Letter

  • Asbestos Disclosure ( Word ) – Notifty tenants of asbestos at the property (required for properties built before 1979).
  • Bed Bug Addendum ( Word ) – Explain how both parties should act in case of a bedbug infestation.
  • Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Addendum ( Word )– State whether the landlord will provide carbon monoxide/smoke detectors and how the tenant is responsible for keeping them in good condition.
  • Commercial Lease Addendum ( PDF ) – Modify an existing commercial lease or expand upon the current contract.
  • Death in Rental Unit Disclosure ( Word ) – Inform the tenant if anyone previously died on the property.
  • Disclosure of Lead-Based Hazard s ( PDF ) – Notify tenants of lead-based paint or other materials (required for properties built before 1978).
  • Flood Hazard Area Disclosure ( Word ) – State whether the property is in a special flood hazard area.
  • Foreclosure Notice ( Word ) – Inform the tenant of an impending foreclosure.
  • Illegal Substance Contamination Disclosure ( Word ) – Notify the tenant if parts of the property have been contaminated due to manufacturing or storing an illicit substance (such as methamphetamine).
  • Mold Disclosure ( Word ) – Notify the tenant that the property may contain mold and whether the landlord will fix it.
  • Notice of Abandoned Personal Property ( Word ) – Tell the tenant they left something in the unit when they moved out and need to collect it before it’s thrown out.
  • Pet Addendum ( PDF , Word ) – Let a tenant know the specific rules for having a pet on your property.
  • Shared Utilities Disclosure ( Word ) – Explain how utilities are calculated and shared between multiple residents.
  • Smoke-free Addendum ( PDF , Word ) – Specify whether your tenant can smoke marijuana or tobacco on your property.

Follow the steps below to rent your property easily:

Step 1 – Show Your Rental Unit to Tenants

landlord shaking hands with tenants in empty apartment

The first step in renting out a house or an apartment is to allow people to view the property . If tenants like the property and want to move in, they will likely inquire about the rent amount and other details.

Hosting viewings can be inconvenient if you have multiple properties, so many landlords hire a property management company to show their rental units to potential tenants.

Step 2 – Give the Tenant a Rental Application Form to Fill Out

Once you agree on the rent price, the tenant should complete a rental application . This form helps the landlord screen the tenant, and it includes information such as the applicant’s:

  • Current address
  • Place of employment
  • Income level
  • Rental references

The tenant can confirm their workplace using an employment verification letter . This document is accessible for renters to show proof of income.

Typically, landlords require a small, non-refundable fee from the tenant to process the rental application.

Be aware of what you can and can’t ask on a rental application to abide by federal laws and prevent discrimination in the selection process.

Step 3 – Run a Background and Credit Check

After reviewing the tenant’s application, you should run a background check (and/or a credit check).

Running a credit check as part of the tenant-screening process can help avoid scams and problem tenants. The tenant usually pays for the cost of a credit check.

A background check shows if the applicant has a prior criminal history, and a credit check confirms whether the applicant has good or bad credit. Bad credit may signify poor financial planning, resulting in missed rent payments.

Although these checks help you avoid dealing with bad tenants, you shouldn’t base your decision to rent the property solely on the results.

Many states have strict guidelines on tenant discrimination. Refusing tenancy because of minor criminal offenses or bad credit may justifiably violate federal anti-discrimination law.

Step 4 – Check the Tenant’s References

landlord on the phone calling and checking a tenant's references

Next, you must check the tenant’s references in their rental application form mentioned in step 2.

You should contact the references and ask questions such as:

  • Did the applicant pay their rent and utilities on time?
  • Were there any noise complaints at the tenant’s previous apartment?
  • Have the police ever been called to the tenant’s last rental unit?
  • Would you consider renting to this person again?

Rental references are usually from current or previous landlords and can give insight into the tenant’s character and behavior.

Step 5 – Create a Lease Agreement

landlord handing apartment keys to new tenant

Once you’re happy to rent your property to a tenant, you must create a lease/rental agreement in the correct format.

You make a lease agreement by writing it yourself from scratch, filling in a blank lease agreement template that includes all the necessary clauses, or using a lease agreement builder to create a lease specific to your property.

Remember to include the following:

  • The move-in date
  • The monthly rent payment amount
  • When the rent is due each month
  • How you’ll handle late rent payments
  • Who should pay or manage the utilities
  • The penalties, if any, for breaking a lease

Both parties sign the agreement after you create the lease contract and review all the details with the tenant. You may need to calculate prorated rent depending on when the tenant moves in.

Step 6 – Hand Over the Keys

Once the lease agreement is completed and signed, give the tenant the keys to move into the property.

Remember to conduct a unit walkthrough alongside the tenant to finish the process. Bring a rental inspection checklist and document the property’s condition before the tenant moves in.

Step 7 – Renew or Terminate the Lease

Allow the tenant to remain on the property until the lease termination date. If you thought your tenant was responsible and you want to renew their lease (and they also want to renew), use a lease renewal agreement to renew their tenancy.

If you don’t want to renew the lease, use a lease termination letter . 

Landlord and Tenant Laws by State

Federal law recognizes that landlords and tenants have individual legal rights and obligations .

Find out what the law in your state says about your rights using the table below, or check the following specific laws for your property:

Landlord-Tenant Acts

Here are the general landlord-tenant acts by state:

Landlord’s Access

Tenants have the right to privacy when they rent a property. However, there may be reasons why a landlord needs to access the property , such as for maintenance or inspections.

Nearly every state requires a landlord to give advance notice to their tenants before accessing a rental unit. Use the table below to check how much notice you need to give in your state and review the relevant law:

Each state regulates the maximum amount of money a landlord can collect as a security deposit from a tenant. Some states also require landlords to return security deposits to tenants within a specific time (potentially with interest).

Usually, a landlord can deduct the following costs from the tenant’s security deposit:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Cleaning costs
  • Key replacement costs
  • Cost to repair damages above ordinary wear and tear
  • Any other amount legally allowable under the lease

Use the table below to see the maximum security deposit limit in your state, whether it needs to be held in a separate account, and how much time you have to refund it after the lease ends:

Here are some helpful definitions for the legal language commonly present in lease and rental agreement forms:

  • Access : The right to enter a property.
  • Accidents : Artificial or naturally occurring events that may damage a property (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.).
  • Alterations : Modifications made to a property.
  • Appliances : Standard home equipment like a refrigerator or dishwasher.
  • Assignment : The transfer of an interest in a lease.
  • Attorney Fees : A payment made to a lawyer.
  • Condemnation : The government is seizing private property for a public purpose, such as highway construction.
  • Default : When a breach of contract occurs and persists, such as not paying rent or violating other terms of a rental agreement.
  • Furniture : Standard home equipment such as couches, tables, beds, etc.
  • Guarantor /Co-Signer : Someone accountable for paying rent if the tenant cannot.
  • Guests : Short-term occupants of a rental property.
  • Joint and several liabilities : Two or more people are independently held accountable for damages, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Late Rent Fee : An additional, reasonable sum of money paid by a tenant after making a rent payment past the due date listed in the landlord-tenant agreement.
  • Noise Policy : A provision outlining “quiet hours” in the apartment building, condominium, or neighborhood.
  • Notice : A written announcement of some fact or observation.
  • Option to Purchase : The tenant’s right to purchase the rental property later.
  • Parking : Designated spaces where the tenant can keep their vehicles.
  • Pet Policy : The permission or restriction of a tenant’s ability to have an animal in a rental property.
  • Property Maintenance : Preserving a rental unit and who is responsible. Such as cutting the grass, removing the garbage, or unclogging the kitchen and bathroom drains.
  • Renewal : A tenant’s option to continue the lease.
  • Renter’s Insurance : A paid policy that protects personal belongings against theft or damage.
  • Severability : A clause of a lease stating that if one part of the agreement is invalid for any reason, the rest of the lease is still enforceable.
  • Smoking Polic y: The permission or restriction of a tenant’s smoking ability inside a rental property.
  • Sublet : A temporary housing arrangement between current and new tenants to rent all or part of the currently leased property. The subletting period must be for less than the lease term.
  • Successor : Someone who takes over the obligations of a lease from a tenant or landlord.
  • Utilities : A public or private service supplying electricity, water, gas, or trash collection to a property.
  • Waterbed : A water-filled furnishing used to sleep and not typically permitted in most rental properties.

Here’s how to write a lease :

Step 1 – Name the Parties

A simple rental agreement form must name the parties signing the lease and where they live. First, you should write down the following:

  • The landlord or property management company and their current address

highlighted name section of a lease agreement template

Step 2 – Describe the Premises

The “premises” are the exact address and type of rented property , such as an apartment, house, or condominium.

highlighted premises section of a sample rental agreement

Step 3 – Define the Terms of the Lease

The “term” is the length of time a tenant will rent the listed property. A standard agreement should detail when the lease term begins and ends .

Furthermore, a lease can either be fixed-term or month-to-month.

  • A fixed-term rental lease means the agreement is set for a predetermined or fixed period. This lease expires on the end date listed in the agreement (usually up to 6 months, one year, or two years from the start date).
  • A month-to-month rental lease means the agreement lasts one month with no defined end date. It continues monthly until either the landlord or tenant terminates the agreement.

highlighted term section of a lease agreement example form

Step 4 – Set How Much Rent the Tenant Will Pay

A lease agreement must explicitly list the monthly rental amount and outline the consequences of late rent.

It’s up to the landlord to decide how much to charge for rent, but the cost is usually comparable to other properties within the same area.

In addition, standard rent control laws may limit the amount you can charge for rent. Check your local rent control ordinance to ensure your lease agreement complies with those regulations.

highlighted rent section of a sample rental lease agreement

Step 5 – Assign a Security Deposit Amount

A security deposit is a set amount of money a landlord collects at the beginning of the lease.

Landlords have the right to collect a security deposit from their tenants. Still, their states’ security deposit laws define what landlords can use that money for (check the security deposit laws of your state ).

Step 6 – Finalize the Lease

Once you finish discussing the details with your tenant, remember to:

  • Print – print at least two copies of the rental lease for you and the other party
  • Sign – sign and date the lease agreement (both the tenant(s) and landlord)
  • Save – safely file a hard copy of the signed document and consider scanning an electronic copy for extra safekeeping.

The following standard residential lease agreement works for all states except California , Florida , and Washington, DC .

Standard Lease Agreement

Why do I need a lease agreement?

]You need a lease agreement because it explains your responsibilities as a landlord and sets rules for the tenants living on your property. This form helps you avoid disputes with your tenants and address issues when they arise.

Suppose you rent out a property but don’t use a lease agreement. In that case, you could lose rent money, be liable for illegal activities on the property, receive penalties for unpaid utility costs, or spend a lot on property damage repairs and lawyer fees. Anyone renting a home, land, or commercial building should have a lease agreement.

How do I rent a room in my house?

You rent out a room in your house by using an agreement stating you’re renting out a room, not the entire property. If you’re a tenant living in a rental property, you can sublet a room to another tenant using a room rental agreement .

A standard residential lease and a room rental agreement allow you to establish quiet hours, the times guests can visit, the division of utility payments, and rules regarding pets, smoking, and parking.

Both parties sign the agreement to rent a room, and the landlord collects a security deposit from the tenant before handing over the keys.

What’s the difference between a lease and a rental agreement?

The difference between a lease and a rental agreement is the duration of the contract. Lease agreements are typically long-term (12 to 24 months), whereas rental agreements are usually short-term (a few weeks or months).

If you decide whether a lease or rent is best for you, remember that a lease agreement provides more security, but a rental agreement offers more flexibility.

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

Your responsibilities as a landlord include the following:

  • Repairing and maintaining the normal wear and tear of appliances like the air conditioner or heater.
  • Respecting a tenant’s right to “quiet enjoyment” (living without disturbances). For example, you should deal with noise complaints accordingly, and you shouldn’t visit the property unnecessarily.
  • Providing the tenant with a safe and clean home for the lease term. Examples include removing mold , resolving water damage, and fixing ventilation problems.
  • Returning the tenant’s security deposit if the tenant treats the property respectfully and the rental is in good condition at the end of the lease term.
  • Giving the tenant advance notice when you must enter the premises to fix something or show someone the property.

What happens if a tenant violates a lease?

If a tenant violates a lease , the landlord may try to resolve the problem by allowing the tenant to fix it (unless the violation is significant, such as using the property to sell or manufacture illegal drugs). If the issue is not resolved within a specific period (as set by state law), the landlord can begin eviction to remove the tenant.

Common lease violations include unpaid rent/utility bills and damage to the property.

What should I include in a lease agreement?

You should include the following information and clauses in a lease agreement:

  • Names of all tenants : Write the names of every adult living on the property.
  • Term : State the lease’s duration and whether it’s for a fixed period or will automatically renew.
  • Rent : Set the amount of money the tenant will pay to live in the property and which day of the month the tenant will pay the rent.
  • Premises : Describe the property and its location.
  • Security deposit : Assign an amount of money the tenant will give the landlord to hold in case of any damages

Depending on your property and its location, you may need to include some standard disclosures and addendums that address specific situations, such as smoking or pets.

Related Documents

  • Lease Termination Letter : A document created by the landlord or tenant in order to end an existing lease or rental agreement.
  • Lease Renewal Agreement : Extends the term of an existing lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant.
  • Eviction Notice : A written record that the Landlord properly notified the Tenant of a problem (i.e. lease violation, late rent, the lease ended).
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Standard Lease Agreement

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