As a business, your relationships with other companies and entities are forged on interpersonal relationships but require a measure of formality to maintain the integrity of that business. When a dispute arises, the result can be incredibly disruptive and damaging to your company. These kinds of hiccups can be catastrophic for young enterprises and those working in an entrepreneurial environment.
Common forms of business disputes
The most common types of disputes come out of breaches of contract, financial agreements, partner disputes, and employment disputes. ‘Breach of contract’ represents a wide variety of arguments that typically involve a failure by one or multiple parties to fulfill contractual obligations. This misconduct could include non-payment for goods or services, missed deadlines or poor performance expectations. Depending on the circumstances of the dispute, and whether your company wants to maintain a working relationship with the other party, your options for resolution could include:
- Mediation: Mediation is an excellent option for dispute resolution if you and the other party are on good enough terms to attempt to work through a dispute. Mediation is generally less expensive than litigation and non-binding. The other advantages include the flexibility of the discussion since the parties involved will use a mediator rather than a judge.
- Arbitration: Arbitration is akin to mediation except that it is more formal and includes an arbitrator who will often make a binding and enforceable decision. Arbitration and mediation can also preserve some measure of privacy amongst the disputing parties that litigation cannot.
- Litigation: Litigation involves a lawsuit and relies on the judgment of a court to delineate fault and how an ongoing dispute should resolve. The court’s decision is binding and enforceable. This manner of dispute resolution isn’t always advisable for preserving harmonious business relationships, as it is more adversarial.
Finding the best option for your business
The specific nature of your dispute is most important to decide what method of resolution best fits your situation. If you have an ongoing conflict that you’re having difficulty resolving, contact an attorney with experience in business law and business disputes to explore your options.