I work for a "mom & pop" style franchise. When I started taking over, the company did not have their own email account. They were all using their personal email accounts. So since I did not want my email account filling up with a bunch of work stuff I opened my own work email for me and allowed others to use it so that it was easier to receive/send things.

I'm going to be leaving the company, and they all still use their personal accounts. How can I determine if I should be expected to "hand over" the email account I created for use with my work?

  • 3
    Are you talking about a gmail account or something similar you created for work? And by "use" do you just mean contacting you on that email or actually colleagues using the same account? Depending on what you're talking about you may just want to delete the account altogether.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 12, 2016 at 21:50
  • Were you asked to do so? Does the account hold personal private content? Does it hold company sensitive info (i.e. HR, Finance, etc.)?
    – G.T.D.
    Jul 12, 2016 at 21:52
  • What do you mean by "hand over"?
    – Brandin
    Jul 12, 2016 at 22:08
  • @JoeStrazzere I read the question as having a comma after "taking over". Jul 12, 2016 at 23:08
  • 1
    If you live in the US, just say there were no emails, the server is gone and top of it off with "I'm with Her".
    – user41761
    Jul 13, 2016 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


I'm going to assume that by "do I have to?" you mean "am I expected to?" or "should I?". ("Am I legally required to" would be off-topic.) You should expect to hand over the email account (i.e. give them the password and stop using the account) if any of the following apply:

  • if the email address contains the company name, e.g. acmesales@gmail.com
  • if there are any automated systems that interact with the account
  • if the account set-up will take time to replicate elsewhere (e.g., it has important contacts, or rules for automatically processing some email, or email templates)
  • if customers have the email address (they may continue to use it for a while)
  • if there is company-sensitive information in the account

In the last two cases, it may be acceptable to simply close the account. Ask Mom and Pop how they would like to handle it.

  • Are you sure you can "transfer" a gmail account? As far as I can remember, whenever I created a gmail account I've had to give my personal details. That account is a personal account. The OP could forward all mails to another account and stop using it to avoid impersonating the company, but there's no handing the account out just by sending the password.
    – Pere
    Sep 4, 2019 at 14:40

Send all work related emails in a Export to your Boss/Manager/co-worker. Setup a automatic Response that this account is no longer in use for the Company X.

This is assuming you are the only one with login credentials to the account.

If someone else has them and want to continue to use this account advice him/her to Change the Password from date [day after your lastday].

Do Keep a back-up from everything related to work communication (not Passwords or sensitive Information) in your possesion unless they explicitly ask you not to. I have been asked about Agreements with co-workers send to private adresses long after I worked their and it helped me clear up alot of missunderstandings.

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