When dealing with disputes among business partners, you have several options ahead of you. Many people erroneously jump straight to litigation, as if that is the only possibility. Fortunately for you, that is not the case.
While litigation may work in some cases, there are others that you can solve through alternative means instead. In the end, this can save you time, money and even your business relationships.
Arbitration vs litigation
FINRA discusses arbitration and mediation, two other methods for resolving disputes. Arbitration is the most similar to litigation between the two. If your dispute needs a solid structure as you work through it, this is going to be your best option. You have less wiggle room when working through things with an arbitrator. They are the ones who make the final decision about your case. But if you are dealing with high assets or complex arguments, you may find it better to have someone else make the call for you.
Arbitration is still less expensive than litigation, too. Not only that, but you do not need a court date. This saves everyone time and money, allowing you to put more focus on the dispute itself.
Mediation vs arbitration
But what if your disagreement is not so severe? If you think you can work through a disagreement largely on your own, mediation may suit you. A mediator acts like a referee as you and the other parties talk through your dispute. They step in if arguments get out of hand. They may also offer insight and opinions, which hold value from a third party perspective. But they cannot make the final call; that is up to you and the other parties.
Mediation also allows you to hold on to your business relations better. Fewer people leave the dispute embittered toward each other. In business, maintaining relations is one of the most crucial things, so you may want to prioritize it. In the end, you must look at your unique situation and decide what suits you best.