What is a formal notice?

It is a letter by which we formally ask a person who contravenes our rights to fulfill their obligations.

This letter aims to inform him of his shortcomings and of our requests in a formal and precise manner. The purpose of a demand letter is to do something or stop doing something within a specified and reasonable time.

What is the purpose of a formal notice?

Instead, think about the goal. It can be, for example, to remedy a problem, to pay a sum of money or to respect a contract.

The formal notice summarizes the dispute and specifies the solution required. For example, a contractor who owes you work not completed or repairs not made.

This letter gives the merchant or person the opportunity to respond to your request without going to court, which can be costly and time-consuming.

What should be included in a formal notice?

It is necessary, when preparing a letter of formal notice, to ask the following questions:

  • WHO? Who is the obligated debtor to do or stop doing something. Always include the full contact details of the person you are writing to.
  • IN FAVOR OF WHOM? Who is the creditor of this obligation?
  • WHAT? What is the obligation to fulfill? It can be a payment to be made, a repair to be made, etc.
  • FOR WHAT? On what legal basis is the obligation alleged against the debtor based?
  • WHEN? What are the holdups? The period within which the defect must be corrected must always be mentioned.
  • OTHERWISE? What will be the consequences in the event of failure to perform the obligation? Example: If payment is not made within the required time, we will refuse to deliver the goods. We can also mention that the consequence of refusing to comply will be the initiation of legal proceedings against the person.
  • MANDATORY ? Barring exceptions, a formal notice is mandatory to trigger the legal process in contractual and extra-contractual matters! This first step is mandatory and is a starting point to prosecute someone.
  • THE ADVANTAGES OF A LAWYER? Write the formal notice alone or with a lawyer? The lawyer will ensure that the arguments are relevant and clear to the opposing party. In addition, the lawyer will determine which rules apply to your situation from the first meeting or telephone conversation. In this way, you inform the recipient of the formal notice of the reasons for your request, of his obligations and of the possible consequences if he does not comply with them. Finally, a lawyer who affixes his signature in a demand letter will increase the credibility of your letter.

Finally, don't forget to include your contact information and signature (if applicable)!

It is important to know who sends this letter of formal notice.

Also, avoid teaching the recipient a lesson and attacking them personally, that's not the goal here!

A formal notice should not normally exceed a page and a half, without prejudice of course! 😊


The information in this article is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or advice. They do not necessarily reflect the state of the law in an exhaustive manner. The facts may vary from situation to situation and potentially change any legal answer. A consultation with one of our attorneys regarding your particular case is highly recommended.