Business owners like you want to do all you can to protect your assets, business ties, and the relationship you build with your customers. Avoiding disputes between business partners is a great way to do this, but sometimes, disputes end up unavoidable.
In these scenarios, you might want to look into alternatives to litigation. Even if you cannot avoid the dispute itself, you can handle it in the best possible way.
Arbitration and mediation
FINRA discusses two of the most popular options when it comes to litigation alternatives. They include arbitration and mediation. Arbitration holds more similarities with litigation, and an arbitrator also holds a similar role to a judge. They will listen to all parties present their side and arguments, making a legally binding decision based on the information they gain.
Mediators, on the other hand, do not have this legal power. They will, however, help monitor discussions to ensure tempers do not blow out of control and that every party gets a fair chance to speak. They can also offer valuable insight, opinions and suggestions as an uninvolved third party.
Arbitration often works better for those who need more structure in their cases, while mediation serves you well if you already think you can work things out on your own with just a little extra help.
Benefits to your business
Either will benefit a business as a whole due to the avoidance of litigation, which is costly and time-consuming. Litigation tends to burn bridges as well, which can set you up for taking a hit to your reputation, especially as the public has access to court cases and can read everything that occurs.