How to Write an Address Correctly

Whether you’re sending a letter or double-checking your resume, knowing how to write an address the correct way is important. Each situation has a specific address format that is appropriate, and writing it correctly can mean the difference between having your letter or package reach its destination or get lost in the mail. A few simple rules can help you write any address.

address on an envelope address on an envelope

Basic Address Format Explained

In the United States, the address should use the following format. This can look a little different, depending on the situation.

First and last name
Company name, if applicable
Street number and name
City, state, and zip code

Writing an Address for an Individual

If the recipient is an individual, you don’t need to use a company name. Instead, you simply include the first and last name.

Aaron Larson
123 Center Ln.
Plymouth, MN 55441

Writing an Address for a Company or Business

If the recipient is a company, you can simply use the company name or also include a specific person at the company.

Aaron Larson
Zippy Diagnostics
123 Center Ln.
Plymouth, MN 55441

Zippy Diagnostics
123 Center Ln.
Plymouth, MN 55441

Addresses With an Apartment Number or Suite

If the recipient has an apartment number or suite number, you need to include that information in the address. You can put it on the same line as the street number and name, or if it’s very long, you can add another line.

Aaron Larson
123 Center Ln., Apartment 34
Plymouth, MN 55441

Zippy Diagnostics
123 Center Ln.
Suite 4567
Plymouth, MN 55441

Addresses With P.O. Boxes

If you are sending mail to someone with a post office box, or P.O. box, you must include the P.O. box number in place of the street address.

Aaron Larson
P.O. Box 12345
Plymouth, MN 55441

International Address Formats

Each country has its own address format, so it’s important to check if you’re sending mail internationally. At minimum, you will need to include the country at the bottom of the address as follows.

Aaron Larson
123 Center Ln.
Plymouth, MN 55441
United States

How to Write a Return Address

A return address lets the postal service know where to send your letter or package if it can’t be delivered to the recipient. You use the same format as you would for any other address, except you include your own information instead of the recipient’s.

How to Address an Envelope or Package

How you address an envelope or package is important. The information in the address helps the postal service know where to deliver the item. According to the United States Postal Service, mail machines read the addresses on letters and packages, so the address format must be correct.

Recipient’s Address on the Front Center

The recipient’s address goes on the center front of an envelope or package, parallel with the longest side of the item. Make sure it is legible and in the proper format.

Return Address in the Upper Left Corner

The return address goes on the upper left corner of the envelope or package. You can also write the return address on the back of the envelope, but the postal service does not prefer this placement.

woman writing address on an envelope

How to Write an Address on a Resume

As you can see from most resume examples, you should include your address at the top of the resume. This is part of your contact information that a potential employer may use to reach you. Write the address in small but legible print in the upper left of the resume, or use it as part of your header. You can use the same format as you would for a mailing address.

How to Write an Address on One Line

If you need to write an address on one line, such as in an essay or other communication, you need to punctuate it properly. You should use a comma after these elements of the address when you write it on one line.

  • person’s name
  • street address
  • apartment number or suite
  • city

Here’s an example of how to write an address on one line.

Aaron Larson, 123 Center Lane, Plymouth, MN 55441


You do not need to use a comma between the state and the zip code when you write a one-line address.

Should You Use Abbreviations in Addresses?

There are several abbreviations you can use when writing an address. If you are writing the address on a formal document like a wedding invitation, you may choose to avoid abbreviations. However, it is correct to write it either way.

Aaron Larson
123 Center Lane
Plymouth, MN 5544

Aaron Larson
123 Center Ln.
Plymouth, MN 5544

It is always correct to use state abbreviations and province abbreviations. These common abbreviations are accepted by the post office and are a normal part of any address.

Details Are Important

If you’re writing a letter, you should also pay attention to the correct way to write the date. Details like the correct date and address format can make a good impression, and they are important to know.

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