In my company letterheads are not allowed for this kind of purpose. So can you suggest me best format for recommendation letter(from my manager) that can be used to apply for universities in US..?

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    Are you asking about applications for undergraduate programs? Or master's / Ph.D. programs? – Tom Church Feb 10 '16 at 6:52
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    Why not just write the company name at the top of the page and contact details at the bottom? Surely your manager will be okay with this. Not all businesses have an "official" letterhead to begin with, so requiring one is rather silly. – Moriarty Feb 10 '16 at 8:14

Letters of recommendation should be in business letter format, which contains all the information of letterhead. Letterhead, while it makes a letter look more official, is usually not necessary (in fact, for some applications, you just type the "letter" into a text box on a website). (Occasionally applications will specify something like the letters should be on department/university letterhead, which presumes the recommender is an academic.) A former dean of admissions at Chicago Law school concurs.

For sending printed letters, letterhead does provide a layer of authenticity, but if you can't use it, then you can't use it. However, nowadays, most letters are sent electronically, with the writer's email address or the like providing the requisite authentication. I don't usually bother with letterhead for e-letters unless it's specifically required.

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    Note that due to the potential of spoofing, the sender's email address should not be used as authentication method. See e.g. security.stackexchange.com/questions/9549/… . – silvado Feb 10 '16 at 13:00
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    @silvado Of course email addresses are easy to fake, but no more so than a letterhead and a signature. If the institution has reason to doubt the letters are valid, it's easy enough to check with a letter writer, though I've never known this to happen. – Kimball Feb 10 '16 at 13:08
  • @Kimball exactly. So really nobody knows what percentage of graduate students cheated their way in 😂 – vonbrand Feb 10 '16 at 14:07
  • Electronic letters can usually be submitted as PDFs. I have a word processing template that includes my department's letterhead, so I can write the letter using the template, produce a PDF file, and upload it. The letterhead doesn't really provide any authentication value, but I want to the best I can for the candidate but providing a good-looking letter. – Buzz Feb 10 '16 at 14:22

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