Fax cover sheet etiquette

I’ve been faxing back and forth with a client for months. At what point can I stop using a cover sheet?

If you’re in a professional relationship with a client, it’s always a good idea to use a cover sheet, for several reasons. One, gestures of professionalism are often appreciated by clients and allow you to maintain a respectful relationship. Two, if your fax transmissions include sensitive business information and the client works in a busy office, there could be confidentiality issues depending on who takes the fax out of the fax machine.

Obviously, if you know your client has a dedicated fax line or would prefer more casual interactions, the choice is up to you. There’s no hard rule that says you always have to have a cover sheet–it’s just a professional courtesy and a good idea when dealing with sensitive information. If you both agree to go without the cover sheet, it can save you the cost and effort of sending an extra page every time you fax. Just make sure the client is on board too.

In general, fax etiquette dictates that you have a cover sheet containing the sender name and fax number, recipient name and fax number, total pages in the transmission, and contact information (phone or email) in case something goes wrong. You can also add a memo, confirmation box, or sensitive information warning. If you don’t want to make your own, you can always use the fax cover sheet templates at FreeFaxCoverSheets.net.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.