Difference Between Circular and Notice

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 07, 2023


Difference Between Circular and Notice

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Everyone has come across a notice or circular at some point in his or her life. When visiting a company’s website you may have come across information in the format of circulars.  One usually sees notices on notice boards. Students can see notices on the notice boards of their schools and colleges. Employees receive information from notice boards in their workplace.

Notices and circulars are a form of formal communication. They communicate information about upcoming events. Circulars go out to people within an institution and reach people in the outside world. Notices are for people within an institution. Circulars have a greater reach than notices.

This article explains the type of information notices and circulars share and their specific features. It also explores the differences between the two documents.

Circular vs Notice

Circulars are a written form of formal documents. Companies send circulars to specific people or the public. They are a form of interdepartmental communication. The different types of circulars are Administration, trade, financial, recruitment, public, general, and sales circulars. Circulars communicate information like policy changes, upcoming events, sales, promotions, etc. They provide information and instructions in detail. Since the intended audience receives circulars in their hand, circulars use a small font.

Notices are also a written form of formal communication. Companies put up notices on notice boards all over the company. Passersby can read them on their way. Notices are a form of intradepartmental communication. The different types of notices are public, legal, notice of meeting, a notice of violation, notice of termination, notice of eviction, notice of lien, and notice of default. Notices communicate information like upcoming meetings, events, deadlines, eviction, termination, etc. They provide information in a brief and specific manner. Since notices will be in a public place, they use a large font to capture the audience’s attention.

Difference Between Circular and Notice in Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonCircularNotice
MeaningA written formal document for informing people within a department or outsideA written formal document to inform specific receivers
Transfer of informationConcerned members receive the circularPut up on a notice board to grab the attention of passersby
UseCommunication between departments in an institutionCommunication within a department
Information communicatedPolicy changes, updates about changes in company performance, etcUpcoming meetings, deadlines, etc.
TypesAdministration, trade, financial, recruitment, public, general, sales, etc.Public, legal, notice of meeting, a notice of violation, notice of termination, notice of eviction, notice of lien, notice of default, etc.
Font sizeSmallLarge
Presence of a box to display informationAbsentPresent
AudienceGeneral announcementTargeted audience
Depth of informationDetailed information and instructionsBrief and specific information

What is a Circular?

A circular is a formal method of sharing information within an institution or large company. Other names for circulars are circular letters and circular memos. Individuals responsible for sharing information print it on a paper or leaflet. The receivers are employees, departments, business clients, etc.

Requirements of circulars

  1. After the intended receivers read the circular, they need to sign the document. This lets the sender know their information has reached the intended audience.
  2. All circulars should have a neutral tone and the language should be easy to understand.
  3. Circulars should share information in the form of a printed document or a cyclostyled document
  4. Circulars should begin with the salutation “Dear Sir/Madam”

Preparation of Circulars

Senders prepare the circular document once. Then they cyclostyle the document leaving space for adding information about receivers. This space is because circulars go out different people. This means different names, addresses, salutations, etc. The sender adds this variable information in the space before posting the circular.

Circulars also appear in newspapers in the form of advertisements. In this case, no extra space is necessary. The content of the circulars is suitable for the general population.

The unique format of circulars

Although at a glance a circular might look like a letter, it has many differences. Circulars have their unique format.

  • Circulars work as a one-way communication system. Their only purpose is to share information with intended individuals. The receivers do not normally send a reply. Therefore, the sender of circulars does not include their reference in the document.
  • Different copies are made of one circular and sent to different people. Therefore, circulars do not include the inside address in the document while printing. Senders write the address only at the time of posting.
  • Circulars go out to different people of all ages and sexes. Hence, a circular uses a combined salutation in the form of "Dear Sir/Madam".
  • Circulars use a signature block. The signature block is included in the document at the time of printing.
  • Sales circulars use the AIDAS model to capture the attention of readers. The AIDA model focuses on attention, interest, desire, action, and satisfaction.

Different types of circular

There are different types of circulars depending on their purpose, style, layout and containing information.

Administrative circulars

Administrative circulars share necessary information or instructions. Governments or large institutions draft administrative circulars. The receivers are employees and stakeholders.

Trade circulars

Trade circulars share information about new products, business updates, and promotions. Companies and manufacturers send trade circulars. The receivers are dealers and distributors.

Financial circulars

Bank circulars share information like a change in a bank's interest rates, financial information, and loan policies. Banks and other financial institutions draft financial circulars. The receivers are employees and general people.

Policy circulars

Policy circulars share information like new policies issued by the government or changes to existing policies. Both the government and non-government institutions issue policy circulars. The receivers are employees and general people.

Recruitment circulars

Recruitment circulars contain information like advertisements about job openings, the application process, the recruitment process, etc. Companies and other institutions issue recruitment circulars. The receivers are the general people.

Public circulars

Public circulars share information about upcoming events, services, changes in dates of events, changes in services, etc. Both government and non-government institutions issue public circulars. The receivers are general people.

Purposes of circulars

  • Employees receive circulars informing them of meetings and sales campaigns
  • Circulars inform employees about new dress codes in an institution
  • If an institution has recently gone through special developments like reorganization, extending an extra branch, or change of address, they can let the concerned people know through circulars
  • Circulars can issue new directions
  • Institutions can use circulars to inform people about new policies or procedures in the institution
  • Circulars can be used as a method to gain publicity
  • Circulars provide readers with different facts about the company
  • A company can let people know about its offerings through circulars
  • Circulars are a method to gain the attention and confidence of readers
  • Circulars capture the interest of its reader by providing necessary information
  • Companies use circulars to increase sales
  • Circulars are a method to invite suggestions from its readers

Benefits of circulars

  1. Distributing circulars is cost-effective. Companies and institutions can send them by post. They also upload circulars on their websites. All these are affordable methods of sharing circulars.
  2. Companies can directly send circulars to their intended audience. They can reach their targeted audience through circulars.
  3. Circulars have a higher range. Companies send out circulars through posts, newspaper advertisements, websites, etc.  In this way, they can reach more people.
  4. Companies or institutions can use circulars to share a variety of information.  Some examples of information circulars contain are, sales information, events, promotions, new products, etc.
  5. The senders of circulars can measure its effects. When making sales circulars, the companies can measure the effectiveness of the circular by the number of telephone calls received.
  6. The receivers of circulars can store them for future reference or use. Circulars are long-lasting.
  7.  Compared to other methods of communication like billboards and flyers, circulars are a more environmentally friendly approach.

Drawbacks of circulars

  1. The method of sharing circulars is through letters, newspaper advertisements, online websites, etc. This raises the risk that not all the intended individuals will receive the circular. Letters do not always reach the intended receiver and not everyone visits online websites.
  2. When circulars are about advertisements and such content, people tend to ignore them. People may throw out letters without reading them and they may overlook advertisements in newspapers.
  3. Circulars put up on websites and newspapers focus on the general audience. Hence, circulars fail to provide tailored content. Some people may ignore the message because they feel it does not speak to them.
  4. If companies are mailing circulars to a huge number of people, or putting newspaper or online advertisements, it can be expensive.
  5. Since some circulars use traditional forms like mailing letters, they may not reach the audience in time. Sometimes, even if people receive them on time, they may not read them until later. Hence, the intended message will reach people late.
  6. Circulars share information through the written word only. Hence, different people may interpret them differently. Circulars have a risk of misinterpretation of information.
  7. Circulars often do not allow receivers to communicate back to the senders. Circulars follow a one-way communication method.

What is Notice?

Notices are also means of formal communication within an institution. A person in higher authority drafts a notice for sharing information. The receivers of the notice are employees, suppliers, clients, customers, etc.

Individuals put up notices on the notice board all over the institution. In addition, they add it to the company's website. The public place for display is because all members are required to read the content of notices.

Requirements for notice

  1. All notices should contain the company’s letterhead at the top of the document.
  2. A notice informing receivers about a meeting should contain all necessary information about it. It should mention the day, date, time, and venue.
  3. A notice about the meeting should state the name of every person required to attend the meeting.
  4. Notice for meetings should state the name of the presiding members.
  5. Notices should follow the correct font and template. Notices should have single-spaced lines. The content should follow left alignment. All paragraphs should leave one line space between them.
  6. All notices should convey an agenda. That is, a notice should mention all the topics for discussion in the meeting. The agenda should mention the topics in the specific order in which will appear for the discussion.

The unique format of the notice

Just like circulars, a notice also has a unique format. All notices should follow this format.

  • Notices should begin with the title of the institute or organization that is issuing the notice.
  • The main topic or heading should be in bold.
  • After the heading comes the body of the notice. This part should state the reason for writing the notice and the main information you are trying to share. If the purpose of the notice is to inform readers about an upcoming event or meeting, it should include information such as day, date, time and venue.
  • The notice should end with the signature, name, and designation of the person writing the notice.

Different types of notices

Public notice

Public notices share information about upcoming events and services. Governments or non-government organizations issue a public notice. The receivers are the general people.

Legal notice

Legal notice shares information about legal proceedings and actions. Legal entities like lawyers or other individuals can send legal notices. The receivers are usually people against whom the legal action is happening.

Notice of meeting

Notice of meeting shares information about upcoming meetings. It contains information like the day, date and venue for meetings. Companies or institutions issue a notice of meeting. The receivers are usually their employees.

Notice of violation

Notice of violation informs individuals that they have violated a set rule or regulation. Government and private organisations can issue notices of violations. The receivers are usually individuals who have committed some kind of violation.

Notice of termination

Notices of termination contain inform employees of their upcoming termination from the workplace. Employers issue a notice of termination. The receivers are employees.

Notice of eviction

Notice of eviction informs tenants of upcoming evictions. Property owners issue notice of termination. The receivers are the tenants.

Notice of lien

Notices of lien inform debtors of liens placed on their properties. Creditors issue notices of lies to ensure their safety in the event the debtors do fail to pay back.

Notice of Default

Moneylenders or banks issue a notice of default. They inform borrowers that they have defaulted on a loan and the creditor is going to take legal action against the borrowers.

Purpose of notices

  • Notices inform employees of future meetings in the company. They function as an invitation.
  • A notice informs readers about an institution's newly implemented procedures or rules.
  • A notice informs employees about the termination of their contracts.
  • A notice informs readers about upcoming social events in the institution.
  • A notice informs readers about advertisements for internal appointments.
  • A notice reminds employees about their company’s procedures.
  • A notice reports on matters of importance.
  • Notices inform employees of upcoming holidays for the institution.
  • A notice informs employees about upcoming deadlines for their projects.

Benefits of notices

  1. Notices can reach a targeted audience.
  2. Notices provide timely information.
  3. Notices function as a form of official communication.
  4. Notices are a form of two-way communication. The receivers can send feedback about notices.
  5. The format of notices instil a sense of urgency and importance of the information, in the readers.
  6. Notices are cost-effective.

Drawbacks of notices

  1. Communicators put up notices on notice boards of buildings. Hence, they have a limited reach.
  2. Sometimes authorities may not post notices on time. Hence, the information may not reach the audience in time.
  3. Notices are a form of written communication. This raises the risk of misinterpretation by readers.
  4. Since notices share information from a public notice board, it is not possible to know who reads it.
  5. It is difficult to update information in a notice after posting.
  6. It is not easily quantifiable.

Main Differences between Circular and Notice (in Points)

  • Circulars are a means of written communication for sharing information with a variety of people. Notices are a means of written communication for sharing information with specific people (all members of an institution).
  • The concerned person sends a circular to the intended audience. Issuers display drafted notices on notice boards for every passerby to read.
  • Circulars communicate information within a company, between different departments, and between the company and its suppliers or clients. A notice communicates information to employees within the department.
  • Circulars use a small font size because the sender specifically sends them to the intended receivers. Notices use large font sizes because they have to grab the attention of every passerby.
  • Circulars do not need a box. The format of the notice contains a box.
  • Circulars share information with a large number of people. Sometimes they function as advertisements and go out to the public. Notice to share information with a targeted audience.
  • Circulars provide detailed information. Notices share brief information and instructions.


In short, notice and circular are forms of communication. Depending on the purpose and target audience, one can choose between circulars and notices. When you want to share information with a large audience, it is better to use circulars. When you want to share information with the people in your department or company, you can use notices.



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"Difference Between Circular and Notice." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-circular-and-notice>.

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