Business Letter vs Business Memo

Business memos are a subcategory of business letters and are shorter, less formal letters sent within corporations.

A business letter will usually involve external parties or topics but business memos will be more closely related. For example a business memo might be written about company meetings, new policies or events and are more informal with not much attention paid on layout. Business letters will tend to focus more on communication with customers or business partners and clients about queries, proposals or responses.

Differences Between Business Letters and Memos

The business letter format is quite different to the business memo layout because a memo is used in more informal and casual circumstances. It is important to keep in mind the advice for writing a business letter but also take the following into consideration when writing a business memo:

  • A memo will most likely be sent by email or on informal notice paper, there is no need for company logos or letterheads or for it to be posted in envelopes.
  • Both types will have headings to indicate the subject of the letter or memo, but a business memo will have a catchy heading rather than it be a formal statement.
  • A business letter will be written in detail and formal language, a business memo will state the facts of when/where/why/what/who and depending on the situation they can be extremely informal.
  • A business letter will usually expect and require a response whereas a memo is to simply provide people in the office with a notice.
  • A business memo closing will be quick and impersonal simply reminding the recipient what they need to d, for example put a date in their diary or come to the meeting. A business letter will have a conclusion summarising points and a formal salutation.

View some business letter samples.

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