When disagreements arise between colleagues, clients, business partners or others involved in business relationships, they have the potential to take time and funds away from the day-to-day operations of the business. However, New York business owners may be able to maintain some level of control over how much their business disputes cost them by considering a wide range of options as far as dispute resolution.
Per Harvard University, today’s business owners often navigate business disputes by using one of the following three methods.
Often, business owners embroiled in disputes opt for mediation as a first form of resolution. In mediation, all opposing sides come together and work with a mediator to come to a resolution. The mediator typically gives his or her opinion about how to resolve the issue. However, the mediator’s opinion is just that, meaning it does not hold legal weight.
In arbitration, opposing parties work with another unbiased third party – an arbitrator – to try to resolve their commercial disputes. The main difference between mediation and arbitration is that the arbitrator’s word is legally binding. Arbitration may also be more private than other forms of dispute resolution.
If all else fails, or if the relationship between opposing parties is highly contentious, business owners may have no option other than to litigate disputes in front of a judge or jury in a traditional courtroom setting. In many cases, litigation leads to some type of settlement agreement.
Before considering mediation, arbitration or litigation, business owners may want to try to negotiate a favorable end to their disagreements.