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How Do You Resolve a Business Dispute?

If you are a business owner, sooner or later you will end up in a dispute. This is not a reflection on your business acumen nor on your product or service. Instead, it is simply the law of averages. If you stay in business long enough you will eventually end up in a full blown legal dispute with a client or customer, a supplier or sub-contractor, or even a business partner. With this in mind, the obvious question becomes “How do you resolve a business dispute?”

When it comes to any type of business, the old adage “Plan for the worst and hope for the best” definitely applies. Anyone in business should be prepared for every transaction to turn into a dispute. This is one reason why it is so important to document, document, and then document again everything that occurs in the business because when (not “if”) a dispute arises you will be in a much better position to defend yourself and your interests.

When you first realize a problem is brewing, it is always best to try and prevent the problem from turning into a formal dispute. That may mean sitting down with the aggrieved party and trying to work out a solution or appease them if possible. A little time and compromise during the early stages of a dispute will almost always safe considerably more time and money down the road.

If it becomes clear that a resolution is not forthcoming, it is time to review the contract upon which the dispute is based. Hopefully, there is a written contract or agreement outlining the terms of the sale, service, or other deal. Of particular importance is whether or not there is a provision that requires the parties to submit to arbitration, mediation, or any other form of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR. If there is such a provision you may be bound by that provision, meaning you must attempt to resolve the dispute using ADR instead of filing a traditional lawsuit.

If the contract does not have an ADR provision you may need to prepare and file a lawsuit. Where you must file the lawsuit and in which court will be determined by factors such as where each party’s home office is located, whether the parties are from different states, and the amount in controversy. At this point, resolving a dispute becomes much more complicated, and costly.

If you foresee that a disagreement or complaint is likely to escalate to the point of a full-blown legal dispute it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Conshohocken, Pennsylvania business law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the business law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.