No business owner wants to deal with disputes, but unfortunately, they are somewhat inevitable given the nature of partnerships. The good news is that you do not need to immediately leap to litigation any time you come across a problem.
In fact, experts actually encourage you to investigate your alternatives before making a decision on how to proceed. Options outside of litigation often serve a greater purpose that could benefit you in the long term.
Arbitration and mediation
FINRA takes a look at business law and practices, including alternative methods available for dispute resolution. The two most popular methods include arbitration and mediation, which serve different purposes and suit different cases.
Arbitration follows litigation more closely in terms of how it works, with an arbitrator serving a similar role as a judge. They listen to you present your arguments and make a decision based on that, which serves as a legally binding order that you must follow.
Mediation allows for more wiggle room and serves cases best where you feel you can work things out on your own but need a little extra guidance or structure. Mediators cannot make decisions on your behalf but can offer suggestions, opinions and monitor arguments to ensure they do not get out of hand.
Why are they important?
These alternatives – and others like them – serve an important purpose: preserving business ties. Needless to say, going through litigation is a sure way of severing a potential budding business relation. In business, your ties serve as one of your best assets, so you want to protect and nurture them wherever you can.
Consider seeking legal aid if you wish to proceed with your dispute resolution while doing as little to harm your relations as possible.