As businesses grow, the business owner will need to rely on business partners to expand their operations. In this five-part article, a St. Petersburg construction law attorney with Cotney Construction Law is discussing ways that construction business owners can come to terms with business partners in agreements that provide both parties with clarity of their roles and an opportunity to resolve disputes without costly litigation. In this and the final part of this article, we will also discuss those unfortunate situations when a dispute between business partners occurs as well as your legal options for dealing with them. If you would like to catch up on this series, please read parts one, two, and three.
Finding a Solution
Unfortunately, even after developing a solid business strategy with a partner and creating a well-worded agreement, a dispute can easily occur. If this happens, the first step should be to speak with your business partner and try to sort things out for the sake of your long-term relationship. This can help save both parties a lot of time and money as you may be able to find a solution to the problem or at least begin this process.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution
In some cases, a positive, forward-thinking conversation isn’t enough to resolve issues. If you are in this situation, the next option may be to take on an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. ADR is considerably more cost-effective than litigation and can save you a lot of time compared to a lawsuit. They also give you more flexibility to control the outcome of your dispute.
ADR processes, like mediation and arbitration, give you the opportunity to focus on the most important issues involved in the dispute and develop a resolution that can successfully preserve your business relationship. Another benefit is that mediations and arbitrations are performed in a controlled environment, so you and your business partner can air your grievances and avoid anything “going public” or attracting media attention.
A Few Things to Consider Before Going Through an ADR Process
Although ADR is often a great alternative to litigation and can be a proactive way to resolve a dispute, there are some issues that need to be addressed with a St. Petersburg construction law firm before you agree to go down this path. For example, if you participate in arbitration, you are making a binding agreement not to appeal the final decision the arbitrator made. This means you are giving up your right to pursue future litigation or challenge the decision. Another issue can be which entity has more power or control of a company. In some cases, one business partner may be unwilling to budge on their side of a dispute because they feel they have more authority than the other party. This means you are investing money in a process that won’t fix your issues. Before you agree to an ADR process or make any rush to judgement, speak with a construction attorney for legal advice.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.