Friday, March 31, 2023

What to Do When Terminating a Freelance Contract

In a freelancer’s work life, the one fixed is change.

Whereas some freelancers get pleasure from working for a small variety of dependable, well-paying shoppers, others work on a number of small tasks drawn from a big shopper base. 

But, for freelancers used to client-churn—and even those that aren’t—each every now and then a tough process arises. Particularly, the necessity to terminate a contract with a shopper.

Why is that tough? Properly, it may be a fragile state of affairs to barter.

So how finest to go about it? What points ought to somebody planning to finish a contract with a shopper mull over earlier than they take the leap?

Writers Work - Get Paid to Write

What must you contemplate when ending a contract contract?

Listed below are 5 factors to consider rigorously earlier than you contact your shopper and terminate the contract with them.

1. What does the termination clause say?

Asking your self this query is essential as a result of a piece contract isn’t drawn up simply to fulfill finest practices. It additionally stands as a authorized doc for freelancers and firms using consultants.

Ought to the contract comprise a termination clause (if each events concerned are contract smart, it ought to), then we strongly advise you to observe what that clause tells you to do when ending the contract, to keep away from any authorized fall-out.

In lots of circumstances, a termination clause will specify that the celebration ending the contract ought to ship the opposite celebration a written affirmation—an e mail or perhaps a bodily written letter via an online fax (sure, folks nonetheless use them). That method the latter has it on report that the contract’s been terminated.

Furthermore, the celebration chargeable for ending the contract then has proof they’ve achieved issues accurately, per the termination clause. That serves as safety towards any potential litigation.

2. What if there’s no termination clause?

Sadly, not all work contracts embody a termination clause. When bringing a contract to a detailed, this could make issues a little bit trickier. What to do? Merely observe finest apply—that’s, train frequent sense.


After all, if a piece association involves an finish because of it being a fixed-term venture of some type, then, ought to there be no termination clause within the contract, ending the contract ought to be comparatively easy.

Each events are possible to have the ability to half working collectively pretty easily, because the association itself has ceased as a result of completion of the venture.

In any other case, in the event you face ending a contract and not using a termination clause, then the way you handle the next, ultimate three factors turns into crucial.

3. How a lot discover must you give?

Once more, except a termination clause defines how lengthy the discover interval have to be, the size of discover might be knowledgeable by the character of the work itself. Whether or not that work is, say, an email copywriting place, an modifying gig, or anything, actually.

That stated, discover intervals of a month or two weeks are typically the commonest. Both tends to function a good period of time for each events to satisfyingly conclude issues and, after all, for an employer to discover a substitute.

It’s advisable, too, to offer a date in your ultimate workday—even when it’s mandated by the size of your discover interval. You need to be clear and make clear something that may very well be wrongly assumed or misconstrued.

4. How you can clarify why you’re terminating the contract

Not solely is it respectful to elucidate why you’re seeking to transfer on out of your contracted work, however it’s additionally necessary to verify your shopper is obvious concerning the motive, in order to not harm your popularity and profession. No freelancer can afford to only stop a contract with no clarification.

In your clarification, then, it’s best to goal for a well mannered tone, whereas being unambiguous and concise. Your shopper shouldn’t be left confused about why you’ve made this resolution.


Attempt to keep away from language that hedges, corresponding to “I don’t assume I need to…” or “I feel it finest.” As a substitute, be decisive with phrases like “I’ve determined” or “The perfect plan of action for me is…”

You don’t have to cover the reality both, even in the event you really feel a little bit reticent in stating what’s finest for you in a shopper trade. Your shopper works in the identical trade as you; they perceive what folks want and need of their careers.

For example, in the event you’ve reached a degree the place you want or need to earn more money, merely counsel that you could search extra competitively-priced work. Once more, there’s no must overdo any clarification; brevity and readability are the order of the day right here.

For instance,

Hello [Client name],

I’m emailing you at the moment to let you understand that I received’t be capable to tackle any new work any more. Resulting from my monetary circumstances, I want to hunt extra competitively-priced work.

After all, I’ll be glad to finish the tasks we’re presently engaged on. Additionally, I’ll be glad to help you with the transition when you’ve discovered a substitute.

Thanks for the time working collectively.

Sort regards,

[Your name]

5. Attempt to half on good phrases

It’s fairly doable, after all, that pay isn’t the rationale you’re breaking the freelance contract. As a substitute, it may very well be as a result of issues have turned bitter with the shopper.

Nevertheless, that’s no motive to not be skilled and to make sure that the parting is congenial. As soon as extra, it could be finest in your popularity and profession as a freelancer—as you search your next job and the subsequent one after that—to half on good phrases.

So, chances are you’ll think about using a line or two in your letter/ e mail or going on a call to thank them for the work alternative. This will put a optimistic spin on the tip of the connection.

In spite of everything, the state of affairs may very well be completely different—chances are you’ll want to finish the contract however not need to finish the working relationship as a result of it’s been helpful for each events. In that case, you’d positively need to half on good phrases, so you possibly can work with the shopper once more.

Don’t be shy, then, to clarify you’d like to remain in contact. Comply with this up by connecting on social media (i.e., LinkedIn), in the event you’ve not already achieved so, and take the hassle to succeed in out from time to time.

For instance:

Hello [Client name],

I’m emailing you at the moment to let you understand that I will likely be unable to proceed working with you on [details of the project].

I very a lot hope that we will keep in contact and that we can work collectively sooner or later.

Thanks for the time working collectively.

Sort regards,

[Your name]

Tread softly—it’s a protracted highway forward

When a freelancer terminates a contract with a shopper, it doesn’t need to really feel like they’re tearing up the contract.

Treading softly, even when the connection with the shopper has been testy, goes a great distance. Doing so ought to profit the freelancer’s popularity and, subsequently, their profession in the long term. It may be price taking a look at a freelance contract template and guaranteeing the subsequent one you draw up has you lined if you end up on this state of affairs once more. 

In spite of everything, a freelancer’s work life isn’t simply the subsequent job and the subsequent contract with the subsequent shopper. A freelancer’s work life is fixed change—it’s the subsequent job after the subsequent job, and so forth, into the longer term. It’s necessary to be assured in your skill to terminate contracts, and certain of your rights in doing so.

In regards to the writer

Grace Lau is the Director of Development Content material at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for higher and simpler crew collaboration that gives options like Dialpad business call routing. She has over 10 years of expertise in content material writing and technique. At the moment, she is chargeable for main branded and editorial content material methods, partnering with website positioning and Ops groups to construct and nurture content material. Grace has additionally written for different domains corresponding to Causeartist and DivvyHQ. Right here is her LinkedIn.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles