A business reference letter is a document which contains a recommendation and it’s given on behalf of a vendor, a client or any other type of business associate. As some point, you may have to provide such a letter which is also known as a business recommendation letter or a company recommendation letter. Read on to learn more about this letter and how to compose one.

Business Reference Letters

When to use a business reference letter 

A business reference letter is a written recommendation given by one entity on behalf of another entity which can either be an individual or an organization. It verifies the quality of goods and services or the dealings offered by the organization or individual to a potential client who plans to hire them.

Nowadays there are so many businesses available that it can be extremely challenging to compete without reference or business recommendation letters. If you’re a business owner, you know that there are a lot of generic partners or employers who want to learn more about your business and your reputation.

The best way they can learn about your business is through written references and recommendations. Therefore, it’s important to have a company recommendation letter before attempting to knock on the doors of clients or businesses you want to offer your services to.

You can also use such a letter when looking for a new job, a business partner or a service contract. The letter:

  • Acts as your endorsement in written form.
  • Explains in detail the qualification of the person who wrote the letter.
  • Provides insight into the reputation of the entity referred to.


Writing a business reference letter can be quite a challenge, especially when you don’t have an idea of where to start. The good thing is that you can either download a template or read letter samples to learn more about such letters. After doing this, you’ll realize that such a letter is very simple.

To write an effective reference letter, you must include the following elements:

  • Your name and contact details as well as the ones who will receive the reference letter.
  • The name of your business or organization and the name of the business which will receive the reference letter.
  • The date you wrote the letter.
  • A formal salutation.
  • Your qualifications as the author of the letter.
  • Your general impressions about the organization or person referred to in the letter along with their responsibilities and character.
  • The nature of your relationship with the one referred to in it.
  • Details which show why the person or organization qualifies for the job.
  • Your willingness to work with the one referred to in the letter again.
  • How the reader can reach you in case of questions or follow-up. 

As long as you include all of these basic elements in your letter, you can send it and expect positive feedback from the recipient. When you have to compose a reference letter for a former service provider or employee, just keep these elements in mind. You can also download a template and customize it as needed.

Business Recommendation Letter

Rules to follow when writing a business reference letter 

Whether you manage a small business or a big one, you must learn how to write an effective business reference letter. You would have to compose this letter for any employees who have decided to search for other employment opportunities. Providing a great business recommendation letter gives them an edge over the competition.

Although there are no standard guidelines for writing reference letters, there are some rules you must follow:


There is a basic structure to follow when writing business reference letters. It starts with the mailing address of the recipient followed by a formal salutation. After this comes the body of your letter. Of course, this is where you provide details about your recommendation or referral to the recipient.

After the body, the next part is a closing statement after which, you type your full name. Proofread your letter, print it out, then affix your signature right above your name.



In the body of your letter, include a statement which confirms or verifies the employment details and the qualifications of the person you’re referring to in the letter. Some important details include employment dates, the job title and capacity, and even the salary of the employee if needed.

You may also share details about the employee’s attitude and performance too. If the employee’s performance was more than you expected, you might want to include this in the letter along with some details.

When you write the letter as a reference for one of your previous employees, you would have to provide recommendations for them to get a good position in another organization. In such cases, you may also want to include the previous responsibilities held by your previous employee in the company.

Other details to include are the employee’s professional strengths and skills. Also, indicate your willingness to hire the employee again if he re-applies to your organization. If you still have space in the letter, you may share specific projects or situations which show the skills and strengths of the employee you’re referring to in your letter.


When it comes to formatting, reference letters vary. But just like with the structure, most people follow a basic style. Align the recipient’s mailing address, the salutation, the body, your name, and signature on the left side of the document. For the date, align this on the right.

Company Recommendation Letters

Tips for writing a business reference letter 

You may have to compose a business reference letter for companies or organizations which you’ve tried working with in the past too. In such cases, they would require the letter for the purpose of confirming the operational soundness of the company and their ability to perform as expected. Here are some tips for you:

  • You can use a basic business recommendation letter template for the structure of your document. Then input the contents as needed after some consideration. As aforementioned, you must include honest comments about the capabilities and quality of service of the company you’re writing about.
  • Provide specific details regarding your relationship with the company. Such details include the goods you have purchased, the services you availed of, how long you worked with them, and when you worked with them. Also, give a clear statement about Your reason for writing the letter.
  • Then provide detailed information about the performance of the company and any other details which the reader may find useful. Be as specific as you can when writing these details. Remember that the reader will use the information in the letter as a deciding factor on whether or not he will work with the company.
  • If you had a good experience with the company, then you may want to write about all those good things in the letter. Of course, if you had a bad experience and the company asks you to write a business reference letter for them, you should politely decline instead of composing a letter which contains inaccurate information.
  • When describing the strengths of the company, make use of concrete examples. The more you use illustrative comments, the more the reader will understand the business. This is a lot better than giving too many praises and sentiments which, in some cases, may come off as insincere.
  • Close your letter with a summary of the strengths of the company along with a clear, concise recommendation. This wraps up your letter in the best way possible as it fulfills the purpose of the document.
  • As you’re composing the letter, don’t make it too short or too lengthy. Stay away from language which is too general, effusive or superlative. Instead of describing the traits of the company using adjectives, provide concrete examples of how you saw those traits firsthand.
  • Make sure to proofread your letter before printing it out or sending it through email. A letter which contains too many grammatical and spelling errors won’t be as credible as one which has been perfectly checked and polished.
  • Don’t forget to include your contact details in the letter. In some cases, the recipient would like to reach out to you and ask you more questions about the business or person you wrote about. In case the recipient gives you a call, answer all of their questions as honestly as you wrote the letter.

Sometimes, a person or business may convince you to write a reference letter even though you have nothing good to say. Although the first thing you must do is diplomatically decline, there are some cases when you just can’t. Therefore, you would still have to compose a letter and be as professional as possible.

In such a case, you may want to do a bit of research about the person or the organization. Learn more about their strengths so you have something good to say about them. Focus on these strengths no matter how small they are. In doing this, you’re still giving a positive letter without providing inaccurate information.