Four Tips for Managing Commercial Disputes

In any kind of business, an essential part of success is knowing how to resolve commercial disputes quickly and efficiently. Disputes in business are inevitable so your best course of action is to find a means by which to resolve them and move forward. What are four things you can do to settle disputes quickly and in some cases avoid them completely?

Always Institute a Formal Agreement

A written contract is a must for any kind of business agreement, no matter who it is with whom you choose to do business. A contract, should in turn, contain all the pertinent facts such as the details of the relationship, as well as the penalties for breaking the agreement. Even if an agreement is less formal, it should still be in writing. For instance, if you speak to a business associate regarding a transaction, take a few minutes to send an email to that person. This email should include the outline and details of what you have discussed. In addition to reminding both of you of what you have agreed to accomplish as a team, the email also ensures that you have a mutual understanding of the parameters of the relationship. You also have the option of having an official contract drafted and reviewed by your business attorney especially if the relationship and its terms are more complex than usual.

Put All Issues in Writing

Not all business relationships continue to be smooth sailing even after a written contract is drafted and signed. Therefore, you need to alert your associates to the matter in writing when issues arise such as unsatisfactory performance of responsibilities. When addressing the matter in writing, double-check the contract to ensure whatever issue you have is valid and then refer to the letter. For instance, "per our agreement, you stated you would supply X services upon payment and those services have not been delivered as of X date."

Develop an environment of non-aggressiveness and politeness in your first correspondence regarding an issue. Threats and insults will get you nowhere and may aggravate the problem. Simply refer to the agreement and give the associate an opportunity to remedy the issue. Often, the problem is just a matter of misunderstanding so it is important to give the benefit of the doubt in all business transactions. In most cases, the other party will remedy the problem as soon as they realize that you are unhappy.

Create a Detailed Record of Interaction

All correspondence regarding the issue should be recorded. This includes initial notifications and all follow-ups made by you and your associate. This information comes is helpful should the problem not be resolved.

Make Careful Business Choices

Doing due diligence is another must in all business undertakings. Avoid entering into business agreements with those who you do not trust. In the long haul, you are less likely to become embroiled in business disputes if you perform research and planning beforehand.

Met Wilson is a mediator and arbitrator practicing in Portland, Oregon specializing on commercial disputes, claims against broker-dealers, consumer claims, real property disputes, franchise disputes, employee claims, construction claims, contract claims, insurance coverage disputes and business torts. For assistance in any of these areas, please call Met Wilson at 503-972-5090 or visit

This article was published on 23 Aug 2014 and has been viewed 494 times
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