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Circular vs. Notice: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 15, 2023
A circular is a letter or document sent to multiple recipients, while a notice is an announcement or formal declaration.

Key Differences

A circular is typically a document or letter that is distributed to a wide audience for the purpose of sharing information, typically within an organization or community. On the other hand, a notice refers to an official announcement or declaration, often posted publicly, to bring something to attention. Circulars are often meant for closed groups and aim to provide updates or instructions, whereas notices serve to notify the general public or a broader audience about a particular piece of information or change.
Both circular and notice have their unique roles in communication. A circular is often used when an entity wishes to convey the same message to multiple recipients, such as company guidelines or policy changes. In contrast, a notice might be seen on bulletin boards, in newspapers, or other public spaces, indicating important dates, events, or warnings. While a circular maintains a consistent message across its recipients, a notice intends to reach as many relevant individuals as possible.
In essence, the circular's primary function is to ensure that a consistent message is received by a select group of people. For instance, a school might send a circular to parents about an upcoming event. A notice, however, is broader in its reach. For example, a notice might be posted in a community center about a town hall meeting. Both are essential communication tools, but their target audience and delivery method differ.
While both circulars and notices are means of disseminating information, the format, audience, and intent can differ. A company might send a circular to its employees about a new policy, ensuring everyone gets the exact same information. Conversely, a notice about a building's maintenance might be posted in a common area, available for all residents to see and act upon. Both aim to inform, but their approach and audience vary.

Comparison Chart


To inform a specific group about specific details.
To announce or declare something to the public.


Closed group (e.g., organization members).
General public or broader audience.


Often in the form of a letter or memo.
Often posted in public spaces or published in newspapers.


Contains consistent information for all recipients.
Information is broad and intended for mass consumption.


A company guideline sent to all employees.
An announcement about a town hall meeting.

Circular and Notice Definitions


A circular is a shape that is completely round.
She drew a perfect circular shape on the board.


A notice is a written warning or intimation.
She received a notice for late payment of her bills.


A circular is an advertisement, usually in print form, that promotes products or services.
I found a great deal in the Sunday circular for that store.


A notice is an official announcement or declaration.
The company posted a notice about the upcoming holiday schedule.


A circular can mean something that is not direct or straightforward in approach.
His argument was circular, always coming back to the same point.


A notice can refer to the act of observing or paying attention.
He took notice of the small details in the artwork.


A circular is a document sent to multiple recipients conveying the same message.
The manager sent a circular to all departments detailing the new protocol.


A notice can be a formal letter or document providing information.
The bank sent a notice about the changes in interest rates.


A circular refers to something that moves or functions in a loop or cycle.
The train operates on a circular route around the city.


A notice is a short period before something occurs, especially a termination.
He left the job on two weeks' notice.


Of or relating to a circle.


The act of noting or observing; perception or attention
That detail escaped my notice.


Shaped like or nearly like a circle; round.


Respectful attention or consideration
Grateful for the teacher's notice.


How is the audience for a circular different from that of a notice?

A circular is usually meant for a specific group, like company employees, while a notice can be for the general public or a broader audience.

Can a circular be in the form of an email?

Yes, with the rise of digital communication, many circulars are now sent via email.

Why would a school send a circular?

A school might send a circular to inform parents and students about events, policy changes, or other important information.

Are notices legally binding?

Some notices, like eviction notices or legal notifications, can have legal implications, but not all notices are legally binding.

Can a circular be considered a type of notice?

Yes, a circular can be a type of notice if its intent is to announce or inform, but its distribution is typically more targeted.

Are circulars only used in professional settings?

No, circulars can be used in various settings, including schools, communities, and other groups.

Do circulars have a standard format?

While there's no strict standard format, many circulars have a similar structure, including a greeting, body, and closing.

What is a circular in a corporate setting?

In a corporate setting, a circular is a document or letter sent to multiple recipients, usually within the organization, to convey the same message or information.

Is a notice always public?

Not always. While many notices are public announcements, some can be private or intended for a specific group of people.

What might a notice in a residential building inform residents about?

A notice in a residential building might inform residents about maintenance schedules, rule changes, or upcoming events.

What's the main goal of a circular?

The main goal of a circular is to ensure a consistent message is conveyed to its intended recipients.

Can a notice be informal?

Yes, while many notices are formal, some can be informal depending on the context and audience.

Who typically issues a circular?

Circulars can be issued by any authority or organization wanting to convey a consistent message to a specific group.

How can I differentiate between a notice and other types of announcements?

A notice is often more formal and might be displayed in public spaces or sent directly, whereas other announcements can be more casual or shared through different mediums.

Do circulars always contain formal language?

No, the language of a circular depends on its purpose and the intended audience. It can be formal or informal.

Can a notice be verbal?

While many notices are written, some can be verbal, especially in informal settings.

Is a circular always printed?

No, circulars can be printed, emailed, or even shared digitally on platforms.

Can I ignore a notice?

Ignoring a notice is not advisable, especially if it contains crucial information or has legal implications.

How effective are notices in conveying information?

Notices are generally effective if they are clear, concise, and displayed or sent to the appropriate audience.

How long should a notice be displayed?

The duration a notice should be displayed varies based on its content and purpose. Some need short durations, while others might be displayed for extended periods.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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