No industry is immune to business disputes, and disagreements between colleagues arise for all sorts of reasons. As a California business owner, you may want to have certain protocols in place that dictate how you plan to handle any business disputes that arise.
According to Harvard University, how you plan to handle a business dispute might depend on several factors, including your existing relationship with the opposing side and whether you care about maintaining the relationship moving forward. Most of the time, you may want to resolve your business dispute using one of three common methods.
1. By participating in mediation
If you have concerns about preserving the business relationship in a business dispute, you may want to try mediation before moving on to possible alternatives. In mediation, opposing sides sit down with an unbiased third party who makes recommendations about how to move forward.
2. By participating in arbitration
Arbitration differs from mediation in several ways. Arguably the most notable difference is that, in mediation, the mediator’s opinion is just that – an opinion. It is not binding. In arbitration, a neutral third party hears both sides and then issues a binding decision.
3. By participating in litigation
Sometimes, you may have no other option than to litigate your business dispute in court. In litigation, decision-making falls into the hands of the judge or jury overseeing the case.
Different dispute resolution methods may help you accomplish different business goals and objectives. No two business disputes are the same, so what works for resolving one dispute may prove different than what works for resolving the next.