Business Writing Info Blog

Name Suffix included in Salutation?

Posted by Mary Cullen on Thu, Apr 16, 2009

Reader Question: What would be the proper business email or business letter salutation for someone with a II, Jr., Sr., etc. following their last name? (i.e. John Adams, II or John Adams, Jr.)

A salutation does not include a suffix, even if you are using a last name and title. So, suffix considerations only apply to the address, not the salutation in a business letter. Correct business email or business letter salutations in this case are simply:

  • Dear Mr. Adams:
  • Dear John:

For the address, it is traditional to use the suffix “Jr.” for a child with the same name as a parent: 

  • John Adams, Jr.
  • Not, John Adams, II

If a grandfather's name is repeated but the father's name is different, then the suffix "II" would be used:

  • John Adams, II
  • Not, John Adams, Jr.

Subsequent generations use Roman Numerals to designate position:

  • John Adams, III
  • John Adams, IV
  • Etc.


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