Your Freelancer Friend

How to Fire a Freelance Client (Scripts to Copy and Paste!)

Whether you’re discontinuing a specific service or just hate working with a company, it’s wise to learn how to fire a freelance client. I’ve had to do this many times in my decade-long career as a freelance writer, and usually it’s because I’m changing directions or making room for higher-paying clients. It’s always gone well!

So below, check out these scripts for firing a freelance client. I’ve got a script for every situation!

Before You Fire a Client, Make Sure to…

Check your contract (if you have one)

Freelance contracts typically stipulate how to terminate them, so you might need to give a certain number of days notice. They also often state how late payments will be handled.

Ensure you have sufficient other work lined up

Can you afford to fire this client? Ensure you have other work lined up before doing so.

Determine whether you want to refer them to another freelancer

If they’re a good client, it’s courteous to refer them to another freelancer who might be able to take over for you. If they’re a nightmare client, though, please, don’t pass them off to a fellow freelancer!

Determine when and how you’ll finish the outstanding projects with that client

It’s professional to let the client know what will happen next, especially when it comes to outstanding projects. Give them peace of mind by outlining which projects have yet to be completed, and telling them the dates you will deliver those projects by.

Scripts for Firing a Client (for Almost Every Situation!)

Situation: You’re changing directions

I wanted to let you know I’m changing directions in my business. From [DATE], I will be [WHAT IS CHANGING]. Because of this, I will no longer be able to [WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM.]

I’ll be finishing all outstanding work, including [UNFINISHED PROJECTS], by [DATE]. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to email me.

I’ve really enjoyed working with you and am grateful for your business.

OPTIONAL: Would you like me to send you some referrals for freelancers who could take over where I left off? Additionally, if you ever need [NEW SERVICES YOU’RE OFFERING], I’d be happy to work with you again.

Situation: You just don’t want to work with them anymore, and you have plenty of other clients

Hope you’re doing well! I’ve been very fortunate to work with you these past [TIMEFRAME]. Because my business is growing, I’m cutting back on the clients on take on. As of [DATE], I’ll no longer be available to work with you.

I’ll be sure to complete all outstanding work, including [PROJECTS] by [DATE]. If you have any questions, please email me.

Situation: Their rate is too low

I wanted to notify you that starting [DATE], my rates will be changing from [CHANGES] .

I realize this is above the budget you have allocated toward my work, and I understand if you need to terminate the contract. Please let me know either way.

Situation: There are problems they refused to address (and you want to let them know)

It has come to my attention that [PROBLEM YOU HAVE WITH THEM], and while I have tried to work this out with you, I am not able to accommodate you as a client anymore.

I’m very grateful for the work we’ve done together, and I wish you all the best.

Situation: They frequently pay you late

Now, the issue of late payments is a tricky one. You could get a lawyer involved, but bear in mind that suing someone is costly, so it might be wise to cut your losses and just walk away from the client. Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer, so be sure to consult a legal professional for legal advice.

And you have a contract

Per section [SECTION NUMBER] of our contract, payment is due [NUMBER OF DAYS] after receipt of an invoice, and when a payment is late, I must pause all work. I sent you an invoice on [DATE] and have yet to receive payment after [NUMBER OF REMINDERS] reminders.

Because of this, I will have to terminate our engagement. I wish you all the best.

And you DO NOT have a contract

As we mutually agreed, payment is due [WHEN], and it has now been [NUMBER] days since I submitted my invoice. I have also sent [NUMBER] payment reminders [INSERT THE DATES OF THE PAYMENT REMINDERS]. Because I have not received payment nor any indication of when it will happen, as a business owner, I must terminate this project since my services have not been remunerated.

If you believe there has been an error, please email me immediately. Otherwise, I wish you all the best.

Amy Rigby

I've been freelancing since 2013, and throughout the journey, I've always wished I had a "freelancer friend" who could give me advice and support. Well, I'm going to be that friend for you! I've built a successful freelance writing business, and I'm sharing everything I've learned here on this blog.

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular

Most discussed