How to professionally conclude a hostile business letter [With Samples]

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Being in a bitter disposition while conducting a business is commonplace. We have all been there before. But the grace and professionalism with which you bounce back, defines the class of your organization. Keep in mind that each time you respond to your disagreeable partners or vendors, you are setting a precedent. Make sure that the precedent you set will make you proud. Once you are known to respond to a hostile business situation with finesse, your firm’s reputation will reflect the culture of professionalism you cultivate.

A hostile business situation could be a vendor not delivering goods as promised, a partner not adhering to the founding terms or a good deal going sour because of personal relationships. The tension and ill-will is evident in the letters exchanged between you and the concerned party. In such a state of affairs, you can have the moral upper hand if you conclude your letters professionally.

A few tips to keep in mind while drafting such a letter

  • Lucidly state the situation you find yourselves in.
  • Show no malice in your written word.
  • Be clear with your reason for discontentment.
  • Avoid long-winded sentences.
  • Avoid using uncommon words.
  • Steer clear of any ambiguity in your ideas.
  • Write it like you expect to defend it in a court of law.
  • Use no explicit content or words.
  • Keep it firm and civil.
  • Throw the ball to the other party’s court and expect a reply.
  • Draft your letter about 4 to 24 hours before you send it.
  • Write no more than 200 words.
  • Keep the conclusion of the letter crisp.

Since this seems like a daunting task, here are a few samples to help you out. Read on to draw inspiration for the letter that you are drafting.

Sample letters

1. Vendor not delivering goods as promised

If there is a bane to doing business with vendors, it is that materials are not delivered on time. It is the cost of doing business. And there is no way anyone can predict such a failure from the vendor. Keep in mind the long-term effects while handling such a situation. Here is a sample letter addressing this common situation.

Your business address

License number: AXW9867


Vendor’s business address

Subject: Default on timely delivery of goods

Dear Mr. / Ms. (The delivery manager’s name)

I am writing to let you know that yet another set of (name the goods) has not reached in time. As discussed, your delivery is vital for the functioning of our business. It has a cascading effect on the quality of service we provide to our customers.

As a forfeiture for delivering the goods late by 4 hours on two consecutive days, I will be paying half the delivery fee. The same has been communicated to your delivery executive Mr. / Ms. (delivery executive’s name).

However, I sincerely believe that we can get this train back on track. I will gauge the efficiency of your deliveries for the next 3 days. If satisfactory I would like to continue in the same manner as we have. If not delivered on time I will be forced to look for a different freight service.

Please acknowledge this fair arrangement by replying to this mail.

Hoping for a sustained solution.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature)

(Your name)

Sample 1 for Hostile Business Letter

2. Partner not adhering to the operational terms

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As a firm expands, the roles of the founding partners change and the new roles do not necessarily fall into place. A common issue that arises in organizations is that of a partner not adhering to terms previously agreed upon. Here is a sample addressing this issue.  

Your office address


The partner’s address

Subject: Non-adherence to operational terms

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Partner’s name)

This is to bring to your notice the friction created in the office owing to your actions. As you know, handling the floor operations is a responsibility of (Partner #1), like the back-end operations are yours.

In the past 2 weeks, the line between these roles is blurred. This led to an enormous and costly confusion on the floor. A couple of customers had to wait for inappropriate times to be served. Your intervening instructions to the floor employees were found to be the cause for this mistake.

This is to urge you to refrain from overstepping the boundaries of our responsibilities. I will be forced to reconsider your role in the operations if this recurs. 

I am well aware of your contributions to our organization and it would not be desirable to lose you. Hope you respond to this mail by contributing to the smooth functioning of the organization.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name)

Sample 2 for Hostile Business Letter

3. Good deal going sour because of personal relationships

This is not an original story. All of us know of at least one colleague whose previous partner turned up to ruin a good business deal. Previous odious relationships affecting a current business deal are more frequent than you think. Here is a sample of how to tackle such a situation.

Your business address


Their office address

Subject: Focus on the professional aspect of business

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Their name)

It is nice to meet you again but you’ll agree if I tell you that this is not the most desirable of circumstances.

The business deal we are about to enter is top-notch. As you know it is a deal that has been forged with passion and a fair amount of luck. It cannot be replicated later, if need be.

I realize that our previous relationship threw a cat among the pigeons. It’s a shame to watch a great deal involving a lot of people go awry because of us. This is me appealing to your better nature to consider this deal only from a professional aspect and recognize it for what it is. We are in a place which we can use to see past our previous differences for the greater good of our firms.

I hope you take a favorable decision, our relationship notwithstanding.

I am happy to note your ascent in your career and wish you nothing but the best.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name)

Sample 3 for Hostile Business Letter

4. Bank not recognizing repaid loan

A major chunk of young businesses are funded by banks. And a lot of them pay back loans on time. You might be among them. But banks can make errors and rule that you have defaulted on your loan. Here’s how you challenge the bank’s incompetence and assert your position.

Your business address


The bank’s address

Subject: Error in the acknowledgment of my loan repayment

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Bank manager’s name)

This mail concerns the repayment of my business loan taken under the (scheme’s name) scheme. The bank account connected to it is (AC number) and the outstanding amount is (the figure in words).

I received a communication from your office stating that I have defaulted on the loan. This is to bring to your notice that I have been repaying the loan in installments every quarter. The online payment acknowledgments for the same have been attached herewith.

As you know, such a notice from your bank will have lasting effects on my company. I urge you to look into the matter and sort it out at the earliest.

This is to request a letter backtracking the notice sent by mistake. This trivial confusion aside, I hope to continue my association with your esteemed bank.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name)

(Your designation)

Sample 4 for Hostile Business Letter

5. Landlord not responsible about rented space

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Renting an office space comes with its share of advantages. What we tend to overlook is that it is still owned by someone else who might not always be invested in its upkeep. This all-too-common situation is handled in this sample letter you can modify to fit your purpose.

Your business address


The owner’s address

Subject: Repair of the leaking roof

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Owner’s name)

This is to reiterate the fact that the west corner roof of the office in (plot number) is leaking. I would like to remind you that this is the last of a string of mails that I am addressing to you about this issue.

The rental contract states that you would tend to the repairs of the structure itself. I am requesting you to honor the contract and look into mending the seeping roof. As you would expect, this is hindering our services and is costing us customers.

I am looking at legal options to remedy my company from this situation. I am on the right side of the law in this matter. Considering the location of the office, I would like to hold on to it. I hope that we could get on the same page and do the needful to ensure the smooth running of my company.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name)

Sample 5 for Hostile Business Letter

6. Adjacent business using your commercial space like a parking lot

With commercial space costing more and more these days, your neighboring business using yours for parking is unacceptable. It quickly escalates into other problems like losing customers because they see no place to park. Use the template below to sort out such a situation and alter it to your needs.

Your business address


The neighbor’s address

Subject: Concerns over parking in our space

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Manager’s name)

As you know the commercial space available in front of our office is paid for by us. It was brought to your notice several times that your employees are using it for their all-day parking. As expected, it is costing us customers and a major chunk of business.

Considering that you have not acted upon the issue presented to you multiple times, the next logical step would be to involve the legal authorities.

Starting from tomorrow, I expect to see our space available for our customers to park. By failing to do so, you will be invoking the legalities that follow such a breach. I genuinely hope that we will not have to go that far. It is in both of our interests to solve this amicably.

I see a future with both of our businesses running successfully side-by-side.

Wishing the best for your business.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name)

Sample 6 for Hostile Business Letter

7. A disgruntled employee threatening to sue you

Disgruntled employees suing their former companies for petty reasons is a staple in any newspaper. Most often it is on sketchy legal grounds. A firm decision not to be persuaded by the former employee will help the situation immensely. This sample handles such a circumstance and exhibits how it can be professionally concluded.

Your business address


The ex-employee’s address

Subject: Possible dispute over compensation

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Their name)

This is to acknowledge that you were an employee of (company’s name) from (date) to (date) working as a (designation). We are saddened to learn that you intend to sue us over intellectual property rights. We hope for a cordial out-of-court settlement.

As things stand, you had coded the program in question during business hours. Furthermore, it was coded on a company system using company resources at the behest of your then boss (boss’s name). According to the NDA signed by you on (date), any development work done by you for the company is our intellectual property.

As communicated to your lawyer, you had forfeited the rights to any code you wrote during your tenure here in your NDA.

We believe that it is still possible for both of us to walk away from this situation with our reputations intact. And that is what we are aiming at. Please contact me regarding how we can deescalate this affair.

Wishing you the best for all your future endeavours.

Yours sincerely

(Your signature) 

(Your official name) (Your designation)

Sample 7 for Hostile Business Letter

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