When you send a letter, it’s essential to get the address right. If you make a mistake in how you write the address, your mail could end up going to the wrong place.
This is just one example of when knowing how to write an address is important. You might also need to include your address at the top of your resume, complete forms for legal purposes, and encounter various other situations.
If you’re looking for guidance on writing an address correctly, you’re in the right spot. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to format an address and offer examples of common address formats.
What is an Address?
An address helps find a place, like a home, land, or a building. It’s like a puzzle made up of details such as street names, building numbers, postal codes, and more.
This puzzle is used by postal carriers to figure out where to deliver mail. While addresses have many uses, their main job is to make sure mail goes to the right place.
How to Write an Address on an Envelope
When addressing an envelope, you put two addresses: one for the recipient and one for the sender. The recipient’s address goes in the center of the envelope:
- Write the recipient’s name first.
- Below that, add the house number and street name.
- If there’s a house or building name, put it on the line below the recipient’s name and then write the street name.
- After the street name, write the town or city without abbreviations.
- Below the town, include the province and postcode in capital letters.
- The formatting of the recipient’s address may vary, but the placement on the envelope is always in the center.
The sender’s address goes in the upper left corner:
- Write the sender’s name.
- If it’s from a business, add the company name below the sender’s name.
- Next, write the property number and street name.
- Include the local area or village if needed.
- Then, write the town in capital letters.
- Optionally, you can include the county name.
- Finish with the postcode in capital letters.
If you’re sending to a London address, use the same format, but be sure to include the correct London postcode. London postcodes specify different parts of the city, like SW for South West, and further refine the location.
For example, Harrods’ address is:
87–135 Brompton Road
SW stands for South West London, and the numbers and letters after it specify the exact location. Using the full postcode is more professional and improves postal delivery.
How to Write an Address on a Business Letter
The format for the address on the label is the same whether you’re sending something to an individual or a company. However, when addressing a letter to someone at a company, there are a few extra things to consider:
- You can write “Attention:” or “ATTN:” before the recipient’s name, but it’s not necessary. Some people also like to include the person’s title before their name if they have one, like MBA, CEO, or VP.
- The second line should have the name of the company.
- On the next line, include the property number and street name.
- It’s up to you whether you want to mention the local area or village on the line below.
- Then, write the town in capital letters to make it clear.
- You can choose to add the county name between the town and province if you wish.
- Finally, include the postcode, again using capital letters.
This way, you’ll have a well-formatted address for someone at a company.
How to Format a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) Addresses
Addressing the British Forces is a bit different but not too complicated:
- First line: Write the recipient’s service number, rank, and full name.
- Second line: Mention their unit or regiment.
- Third line: If relevant, include their operation or location name.
- Last line: Add their BPFO number.
You don’t need to include the town or country in their address.
How to Write an International Address
Address formats can vary by country, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements when sending packages internationally. Here are the steps for writing an international address for the USA:
- Write the recipient’s name on the first line.
- On the second line, include the house or building number and street name.
- Include the city, state, and zip code on the final line.
- In contrast to a UK address where you separate the town, county, and postcode, for an American address, write the town, state, and zip code on the same line.
- After the zip code, add the country name in capital letters on the final line.
Tips for Writing Addresses
Here are some simpler tips for addressing and sending a letter:
- Place stamps in the top-right corner of the envelope. A standard letter in the UK usually needs just one stamp. Larger letters or packages may need more.
- Write neatly. Use all capital letters and black ink for easy readability, as suggested by Royal Mail. Avoid hard-to-read fonts.
- Keep the address information only. Don’t put phone numbers or email addresses on the outside of your item to protect privacy.
- You don’t need commas or full stops to separate the address if you follow the formatting guidelines mentioned earlier.
- Use the right abbreviations for directions, roads, and unit numbers. For instance, ‘ST’ for Street, ‘DR’ for Drive, ‘RD’ for Road, and ‘N’ for North, ‘E’ for East, ‘S’ for South, and ‘W’ for West.
Here are some examples of correctly formatted addresses:
- Miss Davis
- 73 Apple Road
- BH8 6BL
- ATTN: Dennis Menees, CEO
- Kings Square
- N5 1AD
- Service Number, Rank, and Name
- Operation or Location Name (if applicable)
- BFPO Number
- Mrs Smith
- 813 Howard Street
- Oswego, NY 13126
Please note that the mentioned companies in this article are not affiliated with us.
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