How to Put Dates in a Business Letter

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Adding the correct date to letters can be very important.
Adding the correct date to letters can be very important. (Image: FPG/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Letters are formal documents, and the date on your letter can be critically important for verifying contracts or agreements. Dates should be situated at the top of letters, just below any references. You can design your own letter template, use letter generator tools or download free letter templates to set up standard formats for your letters.

Things You'll Need

  • Letterhead or blank paper
  • Computer
  • Printer

Open a blank document in your word-processing package and leave sufficient space at the top of the page for your heading. Alternatively, type your address at the top of the page.

Type your reference, if required. Formal business letters may need the initials of the letter's signatory and the typist's initials, or case number reference. Insert a blank line space.

Add the date to your document. Dates should be formatted by day and month followed by a comma and year, for example, 10 June, 2010. It is standard practice to date the letter as the day on which it will be mailed, although you may wish to add on a couple of days to allow for delivery time. Insert a blank line space.

Add name and address details for the person to whom the letter is addressed, and complete your letter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Letters should never be dated prior to their dispatch date, as this may be considered illegal or fraudulent. Letters may be postdated to allow a margin for delivery time.
  • If you are inserting dates into the body of your letter, use the same format style as used for the date line.
  • It is common practice to use block style for letters, with all text blocked to the left margin and no indentation.

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