We study the dipole formation at the surface formed by −CH3 and −CF3 terminated short-chain alkylthiolate monolayers on Au(111). In particular, we monitor the change in work function upon chemisorption using density functional theory calculations. We separate the surface dipole into two contributions, resulting from the gold−adsorbate interaction and the intrinsic dipole of the adsorbate layer, respectively. The two contributions turn out to be approximately additive. Adsorbate dipoles are defined by calculating dipole densities of free-standing molecular monolayers. The gold−adsorbate interaction is, to a good degree, determined by the Au−S bond only. This bond is nearly apolar and its contribution to the surface dipole is relatively small. The surface dipole of the self-assembled monolayer is then dominated by the intrinsic dipole of the thiolate molecules. Alkylthiolates increase the work function of Au(111), whereas fluorinated alkylthiolates decrease it.