Memorandum – Concept, parts, characteristics and examples

We explain what a memorandum is, its parts, function in organizations and characteristics. Also, multiple examples.

memorandum memorandum
Memoranda are common in the corporate, diplomatic, and official world.

What is a memo?

A memorandum or memo It is a type of written communication, generally brief and of an official nature, through which an instance within an organization communicates with another to make a request, reminder, instruction, etc., and usually from a higher hierarchical instance than its different subordinates.

The name “memorandum” is an adaptation of the Latin (cultism) that comes from the verb memorare, “To remember”, and used in Spanish since 1824. Its literal meaning would be something like “that deserves to be remembered” or simply “reminder”. These types of communications are common in the corporate, diplomatic and official world, always covered with more formality than a simple note or letter.

Characteristics of a memo

In general terms, a memorandum is characterized by the following:

  • It is a written and formal communication, so it is usually printed on distinctive paper, or at most it has an official heading.
  • It is usually brief, to the point (bluntly), and communicate a requirement, notify a decision or instruct an order to the recipient.
  • Usually It is issued by an official body and is aimed at its subordinates or assigned agents, or to people who may be interested in the information it contains.
  • They are usually serialized or numbered, and once issued copies of it are usually archived as part of the bureaucratic history of the organization.
  • They do not usually receive any kind of response, nor wait for it. They are one-way communications.

Parts of a memo

The parts that make up a memorandum are generally the following:

  • Organization letterhead, or official and formal heading, in which it is detailed to whom it is addressed and from whom.
  • An internal numbering, together with the date and other variable data referring to the time of issuance of the information (time, place, etc.).
  • The name of the document, that is, the title that explains what the communication is about.
  • The text of that communicated, along with a farewell and signature of the official or official authority behind the memorandum.

Memo examples

Some (hypothetical) examples of memoranda are:

  • Memo # 1: communication from a company to its production department.

Los Angeles, October 7, 2019

[Logotipo de la empresa]

Memo # 00475

For: Production sector

From: Operational management


The management warmly greets its workers in the production sector, on the occasion of reminding them of the industrial safety instructions detailed in the previous memorandum number # 00438, whose purpose is to ensure the correct handling of work materials and the minimum essential protection of the staff health. It should be remembered that if these measures are not followed, management may be required to take disciplinary action to reinforce them.

With no other particular to refer to

Lic. William Shotgun

Operational manager

  • Memo # 2: instruction to an army unit from its military base.

Base 0001 – 4653.6048

[Logotipo del ejército]

[Escudo de la nación]


Addressee: Armored Battalion 57 (Firefox)

Sender: General command

Mr. Armored Battalion 57

At the instruction of the General Command, the battalion is requested to move to the location coded as srh4875-fuagrp39-1937gfo for its participation in formal combat exercises.


General command

Gen. Guillermo Foresco