Options for Resolving Business Partner Disputes


Most trading partners have disagreements from time to time. Some are like minor conflicts between spouses. Others can jeopardize the business. You can take several paths to try to solve them.

  1. Think about it . Consider the specific problems and their root causes. Ask yourself if you can make some concrete changes or if your communication system with your partner is down. Try not to be caught by the wrongs of the past. ask yourself how things would be different in an ideal world.
  2. Talk about that . Once you have identified specific problems, talk to your partner as much as you can. Try to position your solution so that it does not look like a personal attack from your partner (even if you think it would be appropriate). Make the discussion about the problem, not the personalities. Even though personalities are a problem, remember that people can still work together, even if they do not like it. However, you might consider using a conflict management coach to help fill a gap in communication styles.
  3. mediatize . A mediator is a neutral party who can help identify the real problems so that you and your partner, who know the company best, can find a solution. The mediator will facilitate your conversations, help you formulate your concerns so that your partner is likely to hear and start working with you to explore other solutions. Do not forget that if lawyers are actively involved, your goal may be to help you and your partner to settle potential claims against each other, often in the form of a lawyer. division of the company or the repurchase of the other.
  4. Get the lawyers . Whichever approach you choose, a lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and remedies and give you a better idea of ​​your options. He can also negotiate directly with your partner's lawyer to get a resolution. Try to find a lawyer who is experienced in partner disputes and has the expertise to help you find creative solutions.
  5. Collaborative law . Collaborative law is a highly structured negotiation process aimed at resolving disputes. The parties use specially trained counsel, employ experts and follow a set of procedures designed to encourage collaborative problem solving. Collaborative law is better known for its power to divorce with greater respect than in the courts, but it also works with conflicts between partners.
  6. Arbitration . If the parties agree or their prior consent so requires, a neutral party may decide their problems. The parties can give an arbitrator the power to make a binding decision, unlike a mediator. He is like a private judge who works efficiently and confidentially.
  7. litigation . Litigation is a proven way to resolve contentious issues. It has its place, especially to bring a reluctant partner to the table. However, this can be expensive and time consuming. In addition, the law can limit the creative options of a court to such things as receivership, liquidation sale, forensic accounting and award of damages.

Be sure to ask your lawyer or advisor for all options. This will help you better decide how to proceed.

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