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Formal letter closing

In this article we will show you the best way of writing formal letter closing. When closing a formal letter, it is important to convey suitable measure of respect to the recipient. Therefore formal letter closing and signature shall reflect professional spirit as the rest of the formal letter.

What is Complimentary Close?

When closing a formal letter, it is custom to use so called Complimentary Close. Complimentary closing is the term preceding signature of the sender in a formal letter, or email. Within this term sender should show his/her respect, gratefulness and appreciation of the formal letter recipient. Every business and cover letter should contain complimentary close. However, please note that complementary close in both business and cover letter shall be quite formal so and  shall reflect polite and business-like vocabulary.

Formal letter closing samples

In everyday business practice it is a custom to use closings/complementary close such as:

  1. Best regards,
  2. Sincerely,
  3. With gratitude,
  4. Yours sincerely,
  5. Kind regards,
  6. Respectfully yours,
  7. Regards,
  8. Best,
  9. Best wishes,
  10. My best,
  11. Sincerely yours,
  12. Respectfully,
  13. Thank you,
  14. Yours respectfully,
  15. Yours truly,
  16. With sincere thanks,

Each of the above listed complementary closes has a different meaning / use depending on the relationship you have with the recipient of the letter. To see which formal letter closing you shall use when writing a formal letter, have a look at our article regarding formal letter endings.

In writing formal letter closings, complementary close should be followed with a sender’s signature and name, such in the example below:

Yours truly,

[Written signature]

Patricia Smith

Please note that in regular business practice it is a norm to leave four lines of space between customary close and line containing your name in print letters, while written signature should be place between those two. In business and formal email messages you should leave only one line of space.