Running a business smoothly is no easy task. No matter how much you try, business disputes are inevitable. Disagreements while running a business are bound to happen. The arguments can be anything like – contract disputes, investment disputes, client conflicts, supplier problems, sales negotiations, etc.
All such business disputes need proper resolution without being unnecessarily dragged to court. Business litigation can be a tedious and expensive affair. Therefore, you must hire a seasoned business litigation attorney, who will ensure to resolve your disputes outside court. This expertise of the attorney will help save you time, effort, and money.
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Dispute resolution procedures
The first step should be to try out dispute resolution procedures like negotiation. Getting the resolution through negotiation is the quickest and least expensive way. The business should choose an individual to represent them in a negotiation. The person should be calm and composed and try to keep the negotiation very professional rather than making it too personal. Negotiation will allow both the disputed parties to speak their mind, which will allow for a proper resolution.
In case of negotiation does not work, the next step is mediation. It is a more formal process. Here a neutral third party is asked to work with the disputed parties to help them reach a consensus. Such a resolution will be mutually accepted by both parties. Once the disputed parties reach a consensus then a formal agreement is made and signed by the parties. The agreement now is binding on them. This process is also less expensive and less time-consuming as compared to litigation.
If the dispute is not resolved even by using measures like negotiation and mediation, then the next best step is arbitration. The disputed parties select an unbiased person called the arbitrator or sometimes a panel of arbitrators. This arbitrator is like a private judge and makes a decision when there is a business dispute. The decision of the arbitrator is final and leads to satisfactory dispute resolution.
To avoid potential business disputes, the business should have a strong and effective strategy from the beginning. You must ensure that all your contracts and each party’s rights and responsibilities are taken care of legally. Clear and concise terms and conditions regarding payment, delivery, operations, and other such areas will lead to smooth transactions between the parties involved and build a solid long-term relationship between them.
Most common causes of business dispute
Business can be often associated with the saying “free of bossy liability”, but in reality handling the various aspects of any particular business can be a tough task in itself. A business, even if it was started by a single individual, later on, tends to spread its wings. This causes the involvement of various other partners, shareholders, and workers to join the process of constant profit generation. Sounds like a Utopia right? Well, this coordination of hands can often lead to miscommunications and disagreements, leading to business disputes. These disputes, if not resolved within their primitive stage can be harmful to the growth of any company.
Disputes are not always caused because of self-greed or baseless arguments in the common room. At times, there are genuine concerns that lead to a slowdown in fund generation for the company. Some of the common reasons for business disputes are:
1. Breach of contract
Breach of contract has to be one of the most common causes of business disputes all over the world. What according to you is the most important aspect of any business? Marketing and contracts, right? Well, the breach of this very contract by any party involved in a business might just give the company a tough time to bear with.
Common grounds for contract breaching are as follows:
- Every deal that has ever been made, has a set-up of payment dates. If the payment is not made on the specified time that could be catastrophic for the company’s budget.
- Every independent business is by some means dependent upon the production of some other industry. This leads to extreme dependency on the market. Thus, missed deadlines often tend to be one of the business disputes that might get triggered. Even a couple of days of delay can get you in trouble, and lawsuits might get filed.
2. Shareholder dispute
Shareholder dispute is something that can easily take down the growth of any company. At the very beginning of your business venture, you along with your partners may have a similar vision, but then this might get changed when individuals grow on their terms, and start sharing different ideas which might eventually clash. This leads to the filing of lawsuits by the shareholders and ultimately results in the company getting dissolved.
A few of the points of dispute in such matters are:
- If there is a conflict of interests and priorities
- Management failures, and corruption in hiring
- Increasing debt can indeed be a matter of concern
- Misusing the company funds for individual benefits
3. Labor and Employment Issues
Every company has its own set of demands for labor that they need for the swift production of goods. Any kind of dispute related to labor and employment issues can cause a devastating situation inside the company. There can be seen countless incidents where companies had to stop their production due to their incapable nature of dispute resolution.
Such disputes might lead to various functional stoppages, as such:
- The laborers might tend to breach the agreement of confidentiality, releasing the secrets of the company to the outer world.
- They can commit an act of harassment against the office in power.
- The labor union might decide to stop performing its task, resulting in a stoppage of production.
Running a business by any means is not free of liabilities. Every business has its own set of challenges and demands that needs to be tackled and fulfilled at the same time. There will be obstacles, but you will have to find a way out to achieve success. Disputes that have been mentioned in the above article can be dealt with in both mutual agreements and legal settlements. Hiring an experienced attorney for the representation of your lawsuit might just stand out to be an advantage for you.