How to Format an Address With C/O

How to Format an Address With C/O

A common abbreviation on letters is "c/o," which means "in care of." This is used in addresses to indicate that the name listed on the first line of the "to" address block is either not a regular recipient of mail at the address or that the name might not be familiar to others who handle the letter. The name used on the same line as the "c/o" can be that of another person or a business at that address. Formatting an address that has a "c/o" line is straightforward.

Write the recipient's name on the top line of the "to" address space of the envelope or package.

Write "c/o" and the name of the person or business with whom the recipient is associated. For example, if you're sending a letter to your friend who is staying at her cousin Jane Doe's house for a couple of weeks, you'd write, "c/o Jane Doe." If the recipient works at a business that is located in a center with several other businesses -- for this example, pretend the name of the business is Generic Hatmaking -- you would write "c/o Generic Hatmaking."

Fill out the rest of the address as usual, with the street address or post office box, any suite or apartment numbers, the city and state, and the ZIP code.

Suzanne S. Wiley is an editor and writer in Southern California. She has been editing since 1989 and began writing in 2009. Wiley received her master's degree from the University of Texas and her work appears on various websites.