How to give a resignation letter in Germany

To quit your job in Germany, you must give a resignation letter (Kündigungsschreiben or Kündigungserklärung) to your employer. Your resignation is only official when your employer receives this letter.

How to write a resignation letter

Use my German resignation letter generator:

Your resignation letter must be short and precise. Don’t add unnecessary information; it could be used against you.2

Your resignation letter must include:

  • Your full name and address
  • Your employee number (if you have one)
  • Your employer’s full name and address
  • The date of your resignation
  • The word Kündigung in the subject line
  • The correct addressee – This is usually your manager, or the human resources department.7
  • Your signature – Sign the letter by hand. A digital signature, a scanned signature, initials or a stamp are not enough.3

Your resignation letter can include:

  • Your contact information – in case your employer needs to contact you later
  • A request for a reference letter (Arbeitszeugnis)
  • A request for an Urlaubsbescheinigung
  • A note to thank your employer and your team

Your resignation letter should not include:

  • Why you quit your job6
  • What you plan to do next
  • Feedback for your employer or your team

Language of your resignation letter

If you work in an English-speaking office, you can write your resignation letter in English. It’s safer to write it in German.9

How to give your resignation letter

Your resignation letter must be printed and signed. An email, a fax, an instant message or a conversation is not enough.1 Your resignation is only official when your employer receives your resignation letter.

There are 2 ways to give your resignation letter.

  • In person (recommended)8 
    Give your resignation letter to your employer in person. Bring a witness that can confirm that it happened.5 This is the best option, because you can guarantee that your employer received your resignation. It’s also more polite.
  • By post
    Send your resignation letter by registered mail. Your notice period begins when your employer receives your resignation, not when you send it.4 This can delay your resignation.

Your employer does not need to confirm or accept your resignation.

Who should receive the letter

Ask your employer. You usually give the resignation letter to your manager, or to the human resources department.

What happens next

When your employer receives your resignation letter, your notice period (Kündigungsfrist) begins.

Keep a copy of your resignation letter. The Agentur für Arbeit asks for it when you apply for unemployment benefits.10

How to quit your job in Germany

Sources and footnotes
  1. §623 BGB, 

  2. ArbeitNow,,, 

  3. §126 Abs. 1 BGB,, 






  9. Rotwang Law (June 2023) 

  10. Interview with an unemployed person (July 2023)