Business disputes often wind up in court. Whether there’s an issue with competition, a disagreement about intellectual property or a breach of contract, resolving the issue can be difficult. Each company may refuse to compromise, making litigation a necessary part of the conflict resolution process.
However, some companies will benefit from pursuing alternative dispute resolution options while dealing with a contract issue or other business dispute. Going to court can be expensive. It can take months, and it could damage your company’s reputation.
Alternative dispute resolution systems like arbitration can be a valuable way to resolve a business dispute. It is even possible that your contract with the other party requires that you attempt arbitration before litigating.
How arbitration works
In some ways, arbitrating a dispute is a lot like going to court. Each side involved in the dispute gets to present evidence about their situation to the arbitrator. They must use testimony, business records and other evidence to show that they have not engaged in some kind of misconduct or why they believe a breach of contract has or has not occurred.
The arbitrator helping resolve the dispute has a role very similar to that of a judge. They hear both sides of the case and then decide what would be a fair and appropriate solution. In some cases, arbitration is a binding process, meaning whatever the arbitrator decides is what each party will have to do. Other times, arbitration is non-binding and merely a starting point for additional negotiations.
Exploring all of the possible ways to resolve a business dispute can help you handle the issue with the least amount of expense and damage possible.