Business disputes can take many forms. Whether you have an issue with the quality of goods and payment or have complications stemming from a small business lease, disputes are time consuming and can be highly stressful.
You may think that your only option is to take legal action against the other party. But there are actually other options which don't involve going to court.
At AANDI Lawyers, we are experts in small business dispute resolution and in working with small business owners to achieve great outcomes.
Contact us today for a discussion about your small business dispute and find out about your options.
What are the different kinds of disputes?
A business dispute can take many forms. By definition, it's a form of conflict which arises between parties within a commercial contract or agreement. Your dispute might be due to:
- Suppliers not paying for goods on time, or providing faulty goods or services
- A contractual dispute which cannot be worked out
- A disagreement between a contractor and business about payment
- Intellectual property disputes between ex-employees and employers
- Repairs and maintenance which are needed under a commercial lease
- Franchise disputes stemming from a franchise agreement
The size and scale of your dispute will stem from the amount of money at stake, and the size of the companies, or the status and numbers of ex-employees/contractors involved in the dispute.
What is the dispute resolution process?
If you have not already done so, it can be helpful to try and resolve the dispute directly with the other party. If you are unable to resolve your dispute, then it's time to engage in the dispute resolution process.
- Contact a small business disputes resolution expert like AANDI Lawyers to commence the process
- Provide information to your lawyer explaining where each party stands, how the dispute arose, and the position of each party
- Your lawyer will review your case and will advise you on what the best course of action is
- If mediation or another form of small business dispute resolution is appropriate, your lawyer will make contact with the other party to commence dispute resolution arrangements
Once you have decided to engage in dispute resolution, you'll need to prepare for the meeting.
What form might my dispute resolution process take?
Depending on the nature of your dispute and the level of legality and complexity, there are different forms of dispute resolution available.
An independent and neutral mediator helps both parties to identify issues and come to an agreement on a solution. The mediator will not advise either party, and will not make decisions for you. If the parties cannot agree on an outcome then you may have to proceed to court.
An appointed arbitrator acts as a judge. The arbitrator can make a decision which will be binding on both parties.
Each party, along with a conciliator, works out the issues under dispute. Each party will be helped to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each party's agreement. The conciliator is usually an expert on your type of dispute and will be able to give prudent advice.
The most common form of dispute resolution in small business is mediation, but there are also other forms of dispute resolution available depending on the nature and complexity of your situation.
Tips for engaging in dispute resolution
When going through the dispute resolution process there are certain things you can do to ensure you get the best outcomes.
- Have a thorough understanding of your situation and your overall position
- When you know where you stand, you have a better idea of how willing you are to negotiate to resolve your dispute
- Dispute resolution is a flexible form of managing complications in small business relations, so be prepared to negotiate and move somewhat on your position
It's in the best interests of both parties to resolve your matter without legal action, if you can. Proceeding to court is expensive, time consuming, and stressful.
However if your dispute does require legal action, AANDI Lawyers will take your matter as far as we need to, so that you receive what you are owed.
Benefits of engaging in small business dispute resolution
One of the greatest benefits from engaging in small business dispute resolution stems from the conciliatory nature of proceedings.
- Dispute resolution, particularly mediation, is a less costly form of managing disputes than proceeding to court
- It is an efficient method of resolving issues compared to court proceedings, which can take months
- You have greater control over how the proceedings will take place, from the level of formality through to the mediation location, date and time
- You are assured of confidentiality, something which you usually lose when you proceed to court
- There are a range of creative solutions at your disposal, with options only limited by each party's flexibility
Other parties are sometimes so satisfied with their dispute resolution outcome that they engage in future business dealings. Even if this is not your desired outcome, dispute resolution is almost always far more pleasant than going to court.