Having a business dispute with a managing partner can be damaging to your business’ reputation to the public and potentially to your reputation as a boss. When you have a business dispute, the best initial course of action is to refer to your partnership agreement. If you drafted your agreement well you may find that the disputed issue is in fact outlined within it. Also, you may have included a preferred method of dispute resolution in the partnership agreement. If this is the case you must follow the dispute resolution method given. Common options for the resolution of business disputes are as follows:
1. Mediation: mediation is the least intense form of dispute resolution; the mediator will simply ensure that the discussion between both parties is calm and fair. The mediator’s job is not to offer their opinion on the matter in any way but merely to ensure each party has time to speak and say their piece in a controlled manner. The intention of mediation is that the disputing parties will be able to talk their way to a mutually accepted conclusion to the matter without the need for further legal intervention.
2. Arbitration: a chartered arbitrator is a common choice for businesses as arbitration is completely confidential. Arbitration must be voluntarily agreed to by both parties for it to be able to go ahead. This agreement is either prior to the event, i.e. outlined in a partnership agreement which was voluntarily signed, or must be voluntarily agreed to as the dispute is taking place. This agreement is necessary as the arbitrator will look over the evidence which is pertaining to the case and will then offer a legally binding decision on the matter. Arbitration also usually takes less time than traditional litigation so can save the company money.
3. Litigation: The traditional route to the courts. Litigation can be expensive, so it is advisable to try other means of resolution before resorting to this. If your case ends up in the courts it can be a lengthy process, but it will ultimately end in a resolution to the dispute, be this removing a partner and continuing trading, continuing trading but under a new company, or winding up the business altogether amongst many other options.
If you are in the throes of a business dispute, contact the Law Offices of Steven J. Horn, a business law firm in Los Angeles rapidly before it spirals out of control and find out what the most suitable course of action for you will be.
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