Business is a tricky game. Carving out your niche, attracting a target market, developing a product or service, and connecting with clients—all of this can be difficult, and that is without the added potential headaches generated by staff. When things are going well, it can be tough. When things start to go wrong, the water only becomes choppier.
Disputes and concerns can be a nightmare situation for any business owner, but it is essential that you are fully aware of the issues you may face. Similarly, it is critical to make friends with an excellent commercial litigation lawyer ahead of time—far better to be prepared early on than to face an unpleasant situation with no way to defend your business! Here are some of the most common disputes a business owner may meet, to help you prepare for any eventuality.
Disputes between businesses
Business-to-business relationships can be extremely valuable, offering staff, resources, and deals which benefit both parties. When they go well, they are useful tools and can be maintained to last a lifetime. When they go wrong, however, things can turn ugly very quickly. The stakes are much higher in business-to-business deals, and so it is likely that professional mediation and dispute resolution will be required early on in the process to help you stop things from escalating beyond a salvageable level and maintain a working relationship with the other party if desired.
Disputes with employees
There is a range of requirements and laws which are designed to protect both employer and employee in the workplace. Unfortunately, things can go wrong in life, and there are many potential disputes which may arise. These include disagreements over salary or payment, claims of unfair dismissal or poor working conditions, debates over representation at employment tribunals, or accusations of discrimination based on age, race, sex, gender, marital status, sexuality, disability, or another protected characteristic.
Disputes between partnerships
Perhaps surprisingly, partnership disputes are the most common type of arguments within a business. This is usually due to an uncontrolled escalation of a situation, which results in leadership teams at odds and in a disagreement which cannot be resolved. This often involves issues such as change of leadership, hiring and firing disputes, financial problems, and a dispute over the direction of the company.
Disputes over contracts and financial agreements
While partnership disputes may be the most common, breach of contract is the easiest way to bring about a debate. This can occur between partners of a company, or between one business and another. All contracts are legally binding, and the parties involved have a duty to ensure that the terms are upheld. Failure to honor a contract or legal agreement leads to a dispute and may occur through a failure to act, or through a deliberate and direct violation of the terms of the contract. These cases, although common, are usually relatively easy for a litigation lawyer to resolve, as the breach is typically apparent.
As you can see business owners face unique types of legal challenges. It’s best to be prepared.