Running a business is hard enough, and it only becomes more uncomfortable when you need to terminate someone.

In that uneasy situation, we want to help make it a little less painful. Here,
we’ve provided 5 sample letters of termination. With an easy template you can follow, we hope this stressful position becomes a little more bearable.

Disclaimer: Before using following templates it is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer or human resource consultant who will ensure you have all necessary written and signed documentation in place that will protect you in case of a lawsuit.

1. Termination with a cause

It can be very distributive and hard to conduct business if one of your employees is always late, which happens to be one of the number one reasons for termination.

Or, if when there are deadlines to be met and an employee is found skimming through Facebook or Instagram.

Also, I’m sure it’s disappointing to receive a call with a ridiculous reason for not being able to come to work. Or worse, they had a legitimate reason, but then you discovered on Facebook they were off on vacation.

If any of your employees are not contributing appropriately, make sure first to give them a warning and clear preferably written guidelines to improve. They should have the opportunity to redeem themselves. If not, then it’s time to say goodbye.

In a comfortable private setting, have “the” talk with them. Explain that the behavior that has continued to disrupt the workplace, even after previous warnings, has lead to this final decision.

The meeting should be straight forward but personable. Remember, we’re all humans, so state the facts without demeaning them. You tried your best to help them, so it’s not your fault they choose not to take it.

So, whether your employee is continually late to work, browsing the internet inappropriately, or gave fake excuses for sick days, you can use following template to send them on their way.


[Name and address of your company]


Dear [Employee Name],

We regret to inform you that as of [termination date], your employment with [Company name] will end.

Your employment has been terminated due to [all reasons for termination].

Despite written warnings issued on [date] and signed by you on [date], you have failed to correct your behavior by [date]. Your failure to do so have resulted in your termination.

Your final check (along with) [left over vacation days, severance, or any other remaining benefits] will be issued on [Date].

Your health benefits will still be covered until [amount of

Please return [list of company property] by [date].

Also, keep in mind that you’ve signed [list of non-disclosure/ no-solicitation agreements].

Feel free to contact [Name] with any questions or help with your transition.

Best regards,

2. Termination without a cause

As time passes, your company evolves and you may find yourself not needing certain employees anymore.

For any employees you don’t see fit, however, they did nothing wrong, can still be terminated with enough notice or a big enough severance.

Firing someone without a reason is possible, but can be a little tricky. You have to make sure the termination can’t be considered discrimination of any kind.

As a general rule of thumb, always seek legal advice before you start a process of employment termination without a cause.

When terminating an employee, consider how long they’ve worked with your company and provide a decent severance accordingly.
Or, you can choose just to give them a notice, but with enough time in advance allowing them to find another job without being jobless.

And the ideal option, providing them with both.

Here is a termination letter example without a cause:



[Name and address of your company]


Dear [Employee],

We are sorry to inform you that your employment with [Company name] will be terminated effective [Date].

This is according to our termination policy stated in your contract, signed by you on [Date], which gives each party the right to terminate employment without cause with [x weeks/months] notice.

Due to the termination, you will receive [amount of money/ severance].

Your final paycheck will be paid on the regularly scheduled day and your health benefits will continue until [Date].

We request that all work property, [list of items] be returned on your last day.

For any questions or concerns or help of any kind, please feel free to contact [contact information].



3. Termination for poor performance

When running a company, you set standards for your employees. If they’re not met, even after warnings and ample opportunity to improve, you have grounds to terminate.

Again, always consult with a lawyer beforehand to make sure you have proper written and signed documentation to protect your agains legal liabilities.

All employees should be fully aware of their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

However, there may be a straggler in the bunch who disregards all of that.
If they are consistently unsuccessful in accomplishing their assigned tasks, they should be provided with proper training to remind them how to perform their duties.

Whether their expectations are thoroughly explained to them or a plan to help them improve is implemented, they should have enough opportunity to reclaim their capabilities to succeed.

After providing them with all the instruments needed to improve and they have been given a written warning prior to the termination, signed by you and the employee, and still have failed to improve their performance, you can finally say goodbye to them with this template.

[Name and address of your company]

Dear [Employee],

We regret to inform you that your employment with [Company Name] has been terminated due to poor performance.

We are obligated to dismiss employees that do not perform to the company’s standard.

A meeting was held on [Date], where following performance issues were discussed:

[List of performance issue]

A written warning was issued on the basis of mentioned performance issues signed by you on [Date].

Despite the [training/ support given], there has been no development.
Therefore, your services are being terminated effective [Date].

Your final check (along with) [left over vacation days, severance, or any other remaining benefits] will be issued on [Date].

Please contact [contact information] with any further questions or assistance.

Thank you,

4. Termination due to misconduct

In worse case scenarios, you may encounter an employee who’s committing fraud, has offensive behavior, are violating safety codes, damaging property, or using drugs or alcohol on the job.
In those situations, you need to thoroughly document all the inappropriate behavior and meetings you had in regards to the behavior.

Before you can fire someone for misconduct, you need to conduct an investigation, which can be performed by HR. They’ll need to interview the culprit and any witnesses.

With the documented accounts, warnings, interviews and any other evidence, all pointing to the employee being “guilty,” you can with clear conscience inform them about their employment termination.

[Name and address of your company],


Dear [Employee],

This letter is to inform you of your termination from [company name] due to inappropriate conduct at the workplace violating policy mentioned in paragraph [1/2/3a/b/c].

After an investigation and an opportunity for you to explain yourself,
we have concluded your presence can no longer be tolerated.

At [company name], we do not condone [the acts of misconduct]. We value the safety and reputation of all our staff members.

We ask that you clear out all your belongs and return any work property by [Date].

All dues owe to you will be paid within [an amount of time].

Thank you,



5. Business contract termination

When working with clients, you may hit a crossroad where your goals start to disconnect. Or, you just find yourself not able to work well together anymore.

You may also find yourself with a client that starts to ignore the original plans and starts demanding new ones. And if you don’t agree, they may block payments or become aggressive.

For whatever reason, you’d like to terminate your work relationship. But before you do, consider a way to resolve it.

If you feel like your valuable time is being taken advantage of, charge more.

If you’re not receiving the feedback needed to proceed, make sure to inform your client their comments are mandatory in order to continue.

If it turns out there’s no positive solution, then it’s time to confront your client.

It’s important to note that you should never put the blame on the client, but rather the circumstances.
For instance, if you feel your ideas are no longer lining up, you can say: “Our objectives are not the same and I think [company name] would be a better fit for you.”

When firing a client, you must review the contract and make sure there’s a way to end the relationship.

Then you need to decide what needs to be completed or signed off on before departing ways. And keep in mind, you want to part on good terms because who knows, maybe you’ll need them again in the future.
Also, you don’t want them talking badly about your company. Below is an example of a gentle way to write your termination letter:

[Name and address of your company],

Dear [Client],

We regret to inform you that we will no longer be needing your services effective by [Date].

We’ve decided to terminate our partnership with [Name of client/company] due to [reasons].


Our time together has been valuable, but now it’s best we grow independently.

Any loose ends will need to be squared away before the termination date, and after that, you will no longer have access to [company networks/ systems…].


We’re grateful for all of your dedication these past [amount of time], and we’d be happy to help in any way with your new endeavors.


If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call [contact information].



Firing someone is such an uncomfortable task that needs to be done sometimes. However, with these templates and advice to handle the situation, you can easily fill in the facts that you already know and leave the stress aside.
No one wants to be in this position, but hopefully, now you’ll have a better idea of how to go about it all. Good luck.