One Way a Freelancer or Consultant Can Let Go of or Fire a Client That’s Not Working Out Any More

This is one way a freelancer or consultant can let go of or fire a client that’s not working out any more. Of course, you’ll want to check any contract you have in place first before you use this email.

And you may need to prepare yourself for some pushback from the client.

But if the relationship is truly at the point where you need to fire a dysfunctional client, this is a crisp, professional way to do that. You’ll want to avoid pointing fingers (unless you like email fights) or placing blame. It’s just a slightly longer and more convincing version of “things just aren’t working out. I’m done here.”

Hi [Client Name],

As I indicated in my email to you on [date of first warning email] and again on [date of second warning email], I am booked solid starting [date you are unavailable].

[Specifically mention what has caused the project to go off the rails. Here's two examples: I haven't yet received any of the prerequisite items called out in my last email and the several project update emails prior to that one. Or: We don't seem to be in agreement about some of the major issues that this project depends on.]

I have made my best efforts to get us to the project goal we agreed upon on the timeline that we originally agreed upon. It is now [number of days the project is past the original planned completion date] days past the original project completion date and I do not see any signs that we are going to be able to work together effectively to meet the project goal.

As a result, I am withdrawing from this project effective immediately. [Optional: I'm canceling my outstanding invoice #xxx (I'll return any payment issued against this invoice if this email crosses a check in the mail)] and handing over the project deliverables that are complete (see [attachment to this email, Github repo, etc]).

I wish you good luck with your [business endeavors other projects].


[Your Name]