How to Label an Envelope

canadian envelope

How To Address An Envelope: What To Write On An Envelope

We all know the basics of what to write on an envelope, and you’ve probably addressed hundreds of envelopes. But unless you’ve read through the US Postal Service requirements meticulously, it’s very likely you’ve been missing some little-known facts about addressing envelopes. Unknown to many, the US Postal Service has very detailed requirements for how they want their mail addressed. To help you learnwhat to write on an envelopeand fulfill those requirements, we’ve listed the most commonly missed USPS requirements.

  1. Addresses cannot be written in pencil. An address should be in ink – either written in pen or typed.
  2. Everything should be in capital letters. Whatever is written on the face of the envelope should be written in all capitals. While most mail is sent and carried without capitalized letters, it’s preferred for every line of the address to be capitalized.
  3. There should be no punctuation. When you were taught what to write on an envelope,chances are you learned to write “Mr. and Mrs.” or “New York City, NY.” By USPS standards, this is incorrect. Regardless of numbers, titles, or abbreviations, there shouldn’t technicallybe any form of punctuation on your envelope.
  4. Only list the recipient’s full legal name. The USPS prefers no other form of name, whether it be a nickname or initials, listed on the face of the envelope.
  5. Abbreviations should be used for streets, apartments, states, etc. For the full list of abbreviations acceptable to the USPS, try the links below:

How to address an envelope

Don’t worry! Just because these are the technical requirements of the postal service doesn’t mean you can’t make your address more exciting. Your mail will still be processed and delivered even if it doesn’t match this formatting.

Where To Write Return Address?

How to write a return address on an envelopeis generally a question of placement. The format of a return address should be the same as the main address on the envelope. The traditional placement of the return address is in the top left corner of the envelope. However, it may also be placed on the back flap of the envelope. If you’re sending private mail, this is a great placement because it keeps the front of the envelope looking clean.

If you’re sending a formal or professional letter, it’s wise to stick with the traditional placement in the upper left corner. The recipient can quickly see where this letter is coming from and it keeps all contact information in one general area.

Return address envelope

While these basic addressing formats are extremely important, there are even more occasions, titles, and countries that can make envelope addressing a little confusing. We’ve compiled a list of helpful guidelines for when you’re addressing in unique situations.

How To Write an Address To A Business

If you’re addressing an envelope to a business, write the company name on the first line where you would normally put the name of an individual. Since the letter is to a business, you can replace the individual’s name with the name of the business.

business envelope

If you’re addressing an envelope to an individual ata business, you need to add an additional line. To avoid any confusion, begin the first line with ‘Attn’ (the abbreviation for ‘Attention’) followed by the individual’s name. Below this should be the business’ name, and the rest of the address should follow traditional guidelines below.

person at business envelope address

How To Write A Military Address

Once again, the recipient’s name should go on the first line and always be preceded by their rank. While abbreviations are acceptable, try to write out their whole rank if possible.

single military envelope

If the recipient is married, the husband’s rank and name should precede his wife’s. Even if both are in the service or if the wife outranks her husband, the name layout should still appear the same:

married military envelope

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Envelope Categories Based on Usage:

1. Security envelopes:

These are used for carrying important documents and are designed to be tamper-proof. The interiors of these envelopes contain pattern which tints the content inside and makes it hard for anyone trying hard to decipher the contents of the letter from outside. So confidential documents can be parceled through such envelopes.

2. Invitation envelopes:

3. Remittance envelopes:

Yes, it is used when you need to fill in details and mail it back to the company. Such envelopes are provided by the company itself with the address already printed on it and the cost of the stamp is also borne by the company. This is the remittance envelope.

4. Commercial envelopes:

5. Catalogs and Booklets:

6. Window Envelopes:

These have a window cut on the front side secured with transparent plastic. The name and address are visible from the window. Though these are not so secure, it is still popular since it eliminates the need to separately write the address on the envelope.

Apart from this, we do have the CD envelopes, office envelopes, small envelopes, fancy envelopes, and customized envelopes. Well, isn’t that a wide range of envelopes to choose from depending on your purpose?

Types of Envelopes based on the size:







  • Uses in commercial applications include that for mailing annual reports, brochures, general body meetings or documents and letters related to the firm. Window envelopes use to post dividends and interest checks to the investors.
  • Office uses are like mailing or handing over paychecks, invoices, payment receipts, reports, brochures, insurance policies, and appointment letters. Window envelopes and the pockets are of common use here.
  • Invitation uses may be personal or commercial. Also use for greetings, well wishes or for congratulatory cards.
  • Advertising purpose includes posting of brochures, event invitations, booklets or pamphlets to advertise your services and products.
  • Envelopes used to have personal correspondence between two individuals or between firms and institutes.


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