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Normally we use sehr geehrte/geehrter for addressing the persons according to gender. How can we address a company/department/institute in a professional email?

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I just fixed some typos and grammar. Welcome to Stackexchange! – fifaltra Jan 18 '14 at 15:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You would say

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren

because as you noticed it's hard to target your salutation towards one person when you're writing to a company or group. This phrase roughly translates to the English expression

To whom it may concern

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please explain why... – Vogel612 Jan 18 '14 at 15:29
@Vogel612 Explain why "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren" is used? It is, by yeras of experience. - Or explain why it translates to "To whom it may concern"? Well, I'm not sure, I tend to write "Dear sir or madam" (notably singular), but I'm not a native speaker of English – Hagen von Eitzen Jan 18 '14 at 19:31
Your translation... if I am not mistaken, "to whom it may concern" is gravely wrong in this context. At least for me that sounds like "to whoever cares (because i do not)" and that would be plain wrong. – Vogel612 Jan 27 '14 at 0:24
@Vogel612: "to whom it may concern" is a common salutation for letters in English... – thekeyofgb Jan 27 '14 at 0:31

Recently, also generic descriptions can be found. In advertisement letters, you are adressed as

Sehr geehrter (Neu)-Kunde,

if the style of conversation is deliberately casual, you can adress a company by

Sehr geehrtes Firma-XYZ-Team,

But bear in mind, that you should always use personal names if possible.

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