How to Write a Formal Proposal

Formal proposals are often requested by companies when they are planning to outsource projects. A formal proposal includes many essential pieces of information, including project objectives, budget and cost breakdowns, time lines and job qualifications. Use these tips to write a formal proposal.


  1. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 1
    Create a cover page. The cover page that lets a prospective client know who you are and what the purpose of your proposal is. Include your name, company name and logo, contact information and a title for the proposal. The title may be simple and refer directly to the proposal request, or it may reveal more about your company's plan in respect to meeting the proposal's goal.
  2. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 2
    Provide an introduction for your formal proposal. The introduction needs to include basic company information and qualifications, along with a summary about the comprehension of client issues.
    • Write about the company's mission and objectives, history and background and role in the current industry. Basic qualifications and experience should be highlighted.
    • Create a summary that lets the client know you fully comprehend the mission of the project and any issues that may arise as a result. This summary should be short and to the point.
  3. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 3
    Address the purpose of the proposal. Discuss the project parameters as described by the client in a section that focuses on the purpose of the proposal. Briefly address the method you will use to meet the project's needs.
  4. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 4
    Describe your solution. Provide your proposed method of addressing the project and implementing your plans in detail.
    • Write a detailed description about all phases and tasks that must take place in order to enact your solution. Tell the client how and why the solution you propose is the correct one using prospective scenarios and statistical projections.
    • Create a time line for the project's implementation from start to finish. Provide this in a textual format or a graphic chart.
    • Tell the client about any other individuals or company you will enlist to provide services for the implementation of the project. Include their basic qualifications.
    • Establish a budget and break down the costs for the project. Clients like to know how their money will be spent.
  5. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 5
    Provide a list of your qualifications and experience. Include a resume or other description as it applies to the particular tasks of the project. List other projects that you've worked on or assisted with that are similar in scope to the proposed project.
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    Include appendices. Include several additional documents as appendices, if necessary, to prove qualifications or enhance the proposal. For instance, charts are helpful to demonstrate statistics and facts. Other similar project profiles are often used in proposals.
  7. Image titled Write a Formal Proposal Step 7
    Prepare a table of contents. After the proposal is completed, fill in the page numbers for corresponding sections of the proposal, including the introduction, proposal emphasis, project plans and other parts describing different aspects of the proposal.


  • Your proposal should be typed, printed in full-color and bound for presentation. Most office supply stores can bind proposals for a minimal cost.
  • Formal proposals are typically 25 to 50 pages long.

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