As a business owner, the last thing you want is a dispute boiling up between you and your associates. Unfortunately, just due to the nature of business relations, you cannot guarantee a dispute will never occur.
Instead of trying to prevent them entirely, build up your toolbox for dealing with them when they arise. After all, this is the best way to carry forward in spite of potential disagreements.
Mediation and arbitration
FINRA lists alternatives despite resolution options available if litigation does not seem like the right path. Two of the most popular methods include mediation and arbitration. Mediation often serves parties best when you already believe you can work things out on your own and just need a little extra external guidance. A mediator does not have legal power, but they can offer opinions and suggestions from a unique third party perspective. They also monitor discussions to ensure everyone gets their say.
Arbitration is closer to litigation, and an arbitrator holds similar power to a judge. They listen to all parties involved in the dispute and make a call on what to do next. This decision serves as a legally binding choice which all parties must then follow. However, you get to skip out on the court date and jury, which saves time, money and privacy.
Why is it crucial?
It is important to consider alternative methods where possible. After all, litigation is the fastest route to destroying your business ties. As a business owner, your relations with other workers, partners and businesses serve as your biggest asset and damaging them can hurt you in the short and long term. Consider discussing your potential options with legal help to see what works best for you.