As a business owner, the last thing you want is to get into a dispute with fellow partners or collaborators. Unfortunately, it is impossible to guarantee you will always stay out of every dispute and argument.
Instead of trying to figure out how to avoid disputes at all costs, you should think realistically and have plans in place for facing any dispute that might come your way. Familiarizing yourself with alternative dispute resolution methods serves as a good starting point.
Arbitration and mediation
FINRA examines a couple of popular alternative methods to traditional litigation. This includes arbitration and mediation. Arbitration serves a similar purpose to litigation, with an arbitrator also holding similar powers and responsibilities to a judge. They will listen to all parties present their side of the story, and make a decision based on what they hear. This decision will legally bind you and the other parties.
Mediation serves those who believe they can solve their issues largely on their own, with just a bit of outside help. A mediator listens to the case and provides their input and opinion, but cannot make a legally binding decision. They simply guide all parties toward a satisfactory resolution and ensure everyone has the space and time to say their piece.
Why opt out of litigation?
Why look into alternative methods of resolving disputes in the first place, though? In short: you want to do everything in your power to avoid burning bridges as a business owner. Having a dispute publicized via a court case could potentially burn those bridges, which may have a lasting impact on the healthy growth of your business.