How to resolve business disputes without going to court

Numerous successful businesses are the result of a partnership. Google, Apple Inc. and Microsoft are just a few organizations that came about as a result of a savvy partnership. 

No partnership is perfect, and business disputes come up once in a while. However, it is important to know how to resolve these problems so that the company does not become plagued with constant lawsuits. Here are some tried and true methods for two business partners to reach an amicable agreement on a controversy.

Develop a written agreement from the start

An easy way to avoid disputes entirely is to make it clear who is in charge of what and how much each partner makes. If one partner ends up having more responsibilities, then it makes sense for that person to make more money or have more invested in stock options. Here are some items to ensure are in a written agreement:

  • Partners' roles
  • Amount of control each partner has
  • Distributions and compensation
  • Termination of partners' involvement
  • Decision-making processes

It is paramount to include many details for each point. An attorney can review this written agreement to verify both parties have agreed to the terms. 

Try mediation

In the event two people cannot resolve a disagreement on their own, then it would be best for them to use a mediator to serve as a neutral third party. The mediator should not have a side in the argument. Instead, the mediator should work to get to the core of the issue to figure out if a resolution is possible. This type of professional is also good to have to ensure no one's emotions run out of line. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and get emotional, but two business partners should be capable of remaining professional during disputes. A mediator may also help the partners reach the conclusion they would be better off disbanding. Legal representation is still wise to ensure protection of rights, receive advice and find creative solutions.

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