Settling Disputes Between Business Partners

When two people first go into business together, they often are thinking only of all the great things they will be doing together and may fail to imagine what will happen if business is poor or if conflicts arise about the course the business should be following. Unfortunately, business disputes between partners are all too common, about issues as diverse as sharing work, sharing profit, future plans, even what idea was whose. These disputes can often go beyond the ability of you and your partner to resolve them by yourselves. Instead, you must get outside help to resolve the dispute.

The most important question you have to answer for yourself before seeking help resolving a dispute is: do I still want to maintain my partnership or is this dispute so serious that it is time to dissolve the partnership?

If you want to maintain a partnership, the best strategy is to seek conflict resolution that is less antagonistic, that potentially has the ability to resolve a dispute, reduce tension, and form the foundation of future work. Alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, can do this. Mediation or nonbinding arbitration in particular can be a great place for business partners to work through some important issues without the stress that their entire future is riding on the outcome. Getting an opportunity to hear a third party’s objective opinion about a dispute can be refreshing and give partners some much-needed perspective that will allow them to continue working together. The only problem with mediation is that there is a possibility it will not resolve your disputes.

On the other hand, if you feel you can no longer work with your partner or partners, then it may be best to pursue binding arbitration or a lawsuit. This is the best way to definitively settle a business dispute.

If you are having a dispute with your business partner or partners, it is best to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later, so you can begin protecting your interests and those of the business. To talk to an experienced business lawyer, please contact Polewski & Associates today.

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