International business correspondence

International business correspondence

In the past years, the volume of Iran’s trade with the countries of the African continent has been a total of one billion dollars in exports and imports, which is in no way proportional to the capacities of Iran and African countries.

Tanzania ranks 62nd among the importing countries to Iran, followed by Ghana with the 66th rank, Ethiopia with the 68th rank, South Africa with the 69th rank, and Kenya as the 70th importer among the 116 countries that import to Iran


Principles and rules of international business correspondence

Business correspondence has its own principles:

Business letters and contracts are two very widely used and vital examples of business correspondence in interaction with foreign people in international interactions. In addition to these cases, there are other principles and points that we will discuss in detail in this article.

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What is business correspondence?

Business, both in terms of import (import process) and export (export process) of goods, usually has an urgent need to establish external communication with different people from other parts of the world. Every country and nationality has its own language, culture, customs and laws that businessmen are required to follow and on the other hand, people do not have direct access to foreign businessmen. As a result, most of the conversations, talks and contracts are done in writing and remotely.

Business correspondence includes: letters, contracts, memorandums of understanding, conversations, news, discussions, meetings and many other materials that a businessman does to export or import goods. And it should be kept in mind that from your simple conversations with a foreign businessman on social networks and emailing him to the conclusion of a legal contract, they all fall under the category of business correspondence that requires compliance with certain principles and rules.

In business, especially foreign business, mutual trust is the first and last word. Business correspondence is the most important and main option to create trust in the other party or deprive him/her of trust. Since the two parties are from different cultures and nations, a small and simple misunderstanding can cause their trust to be taken away.

Types of international business correspondence

Traders and business can correspond with their foreign parties based on the topics and concepts they encounter in the course of business. As a result, we cannot categorize them precisely in advance. Nevertheless, the types of foreign business correspondence can be divided into several important sections, despite the similarities between these sections, we must pay attention to the points of difference between them. In the following, we will refer to the introduction and development of all types of business correspondence.

Business letters

The main and most important part of business correspondence is business letters, and without a doubt, all businessmen will definitely need to write letters during their working life. Of course, we know that the subject of business letters is very different. But usually, several different issues such as introducing the company or products, receiving the product catalog, receiving a representative from a foreign company, receiving or sending the price of goods and products, these issues are more common among them. Considering that business letters are considered written documents, therefore one should be extremely careful in writing them.

The most important points when writing business letters abroad:

  • Mastering the official language of the other party and writing a letter in that language is mandatory.
  • Care is needed to write words and phrases that have a legal burden.
  • The tone of the letter should be such that it creates a positive impression on the other party.
  • The foreign letter must be written on the company letterhead of the letter writer.
  • Choose a suitable and attractive title for the letter.
  • To use the specialized business terms correctly and on time.
  • The culture, language, religion and identity of the person and the country in question should be respected and taken into account.
  • Do not use complex, multifaceted and ambiguous words.
  • The letter should be written in an official tone and disrespectful words should be avoided.
  • Contain your contact information such as: phone number, office address, email, website address, and other items.
  • The content of the business letter should be brief and useful and avoid generalizations.
  • A natural or legal person must be addressed in the letter.
  • If you need to provide documents, be sure to attach them to the letter.
  • In the product introduction letter, the detailed specifications of the product must be mentioned.

Business email

Business email

One of the best and fastest ways to establish business communication with external parties is email. From this route, you can easily access all foreign parties. Although sending e-mail is not very common in Iran, this method of communication is one of the main ways of communication in most countries of the world. At first, it seems like sending an email is a simple task, but in practice it is much more difficult than writing business letters.

Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind when sending emails to companies and external parties:

  • Be sure to use the official and organizational email of the company or legal entity.
  • The text of the email must be brief.
  • Be sure to introduce yourself first in the email and even your organizational position and name should be clear.
  • Avoid sending frequent, aimless and general emails.
  • Try as much as possible to have a digital signature at the end of your email.
  • Send more details in the attached files.
  • Be sure to choose an attractive and relevant title in the Subject section of the email.
  • Be very careful in choosing your vocabulary, terms and business words.
  • Business correspondence, both online and face-to-face, must follow its own way and method, otherwise there is a possibility of getting involved with legal problems and lawsuits.

Business agreements

One of the most sensitive and important types of foreign business correspondence is “commercial contracts”, which should be written with utmost care. A businessman most likely needs to enter into business and commercial contracts with foreign parties and companies many times during his working life. The subject of commercial contracts can be in various fields such as cooperation in product manufacturing, buying and selling of goods, and similar matters.

Since the commercial contract is considered a legal document, therefore, care should be taken in its drafting and conclusion. And it is the most important document that the parties can refer to in the judicial authorities in case of problems. Institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce or the Joint Chambers of Commerce between countries are responsible for resolving disputes and commercial disputes between commercial parties.

The following cut should be taken into consideration for concluding international business contracts.

  • The names and details of the parties to the contract should be mentioned in full.
  • The goods, products or services to be exchanged should be specified with details.
  • Specifying the person, institution or court that will deal with disputes.
  • One of the parties must have clarified the conditions of contract termination.
  • The amount of the contract, the terms and conditions of payment and all the financial points should be stated in detail.
  • The start and end date of the contract should be stated accurately.
  • Responsibilities or obligations that each of the parties must perform should be specified in advance.
  • It is better to mention the place and place of execution of the contract.
  • The deposit, amount or document that shows the good performance of the work should be recorded in the contract.

If there are other obligations such as: points related to goods transportation, bill of lading and goods insurance, it should be clear in the contract

Communication in social networks

Fortunately, social networks have experienced a lot of growth in recent years and have entered the international business arena. Easy access and communication with different people through these networks has made social media a very suitable tool for international marketing of goods, getting to know customers, establishing relationships, etc. Social networks have different types, each of which has its own functions and differences. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and LinkedIn are among the networks that can be used for foreign business. Despite the use and benefits that social networks have for international business, it is necessary to provide some tips regarding their proper use.

  • Interaction with businessmen is often done through the popular social network of that country.
  • Scams should not be ignored in cyberspace.
  • Social networks are not the right place to conclude contracts or legal agreements.
  • Each social network is suitable for a type of activity.

Important requirements in foreign business correspondence :

If you have recently stepped into business, you should keep the following issues and points in mind regarding business correspondence:

  • First of all, for international business correspondence, be sure to be fluent in the language of the destination country, and if you are not fluent, be sure to ask for the help of a translator.
  • Get training in business correspondence courses and seminars.
  • Study and learn international trade and commercial laws thoroughly.
  • Be familiar with topics such as body language and its impact in negotiations.
  • Use the experiences of other companies, natural and legal entities in this field.
  • Master international business vocabulary and terms.
  • Be completely familiar with the laws and regulations of the country you are looking for.
  • Take advantage of the company of a legal lawyer or business consultant by your side.
  • It is appropriate to know the cultural, social and religious characteristics of the opposite nationality.

English letter writing principles for business correspondence

In all languages of the world, correspondence writing is classified into two groups: official or administrative and informal or friendly.

Informal letters refer to letters that are written outside of official custom and mostly for friendly and family correspondence, these group of letters do not consider specific principles.

Official letters refer to letters that are written only for administrative correspondence or to address the business party. And it is prepared on the basis of various business topics such as: introducing the company, requesting price inquiries, inviting cooperation, thanking, ordering goods, presenting complaints about products and services, etc.

Components of an official letter

All formal letters have three main and important parts.

  • Title or Heading
  • Body of the Letter
  • Respectful ending or Ending


In this section, the recipient of the letter is often addressed, which is written in the left corner, in the upper part of the letter, and a comma is used after inserting the title.

For example:

Dear Mr. Jack

Dear Ms. Albert

Dear All,

Dear gentlemen,

The text of the letter

This part contains the main text of the letter and it should be noted that the main text has a formal composition and it is mandatory to avoid the first person singular pronoun in writing sentences.

Respectful ending

At the respectful end of the letter, expressions such as with respect, yours sincerely, etc. should be inserted in the lower left corner of the page, and the name of the writer of the letter should be written and signed below it, along with the organizational title or the name of the relevant company.

Example of Yours Sincerely, Best Regards, Sincerely Yours, Truly Yours:

Note that the first letters of the above phrases must all be capitalized. Business correspondence is a key aspect in the world of business regardless of the way it is done. This correspondence should be clear and in compliance with the principles and transparency. A mistake in the use of words causes the wrong concept to be conveyed to the recipient of your letter, which in this case leads to misunderstanding, delay in delivery, damage and ultimately failure of the transaction.

At the end

Without sufficient mastery of the English language and the principles of international business correspondence, it is impossible to write professional e-mails and business letters. To be successful in business and business correspondence in English, first of all, one must know its alphabet, that is, expertise and sufficient knowledge in the field of English language. International business communication has gone through many changes, many books including the very comprehensive book of A. Ashley and AMACOM and other sources can help your academic knowledge in the field of business writings and correspondence.

International business correspondence in English

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