Shareholder disputes or disputes between business partners are difficult but fairly common. After all, it’s not surprising that disputes may arise from time to time when making important decisions about shared business interests.
With the right systems and processes in place, it can be easier to amicably resolve disputes. At Melbourne Law Studio, we are experienced in business dispute law and mediating disputes. Here are our tips on finding a resolution.
Review Your Business Partnership Agreement
A formal legal agreement with the other party, such as a partnership agreement, can offer a quick route to resolving disputes. That’s why it’s always a good idea to create and sign a formal legal agreement when entering a business partnership.
Review your business partnership agreement to see if there are existing resolution procedures for disputes, or terms or clauses that deal with the issue at hand. Reviewing the formal agreement together may help to reach a resolution.
What if There’s No Dispute Resolution Procedure?
Even without a formal written agreement for resolving business or shareholder disputes, there may be other evidence of an informal agreement regarding the subject of the dispute, for example:
- Text messages
Look through these to find any information on how you see if there’s a record of how both parties intended to handle particular issues.
Identify Issues and Potential Outcomes
Consider and discuss with your partner whether the dispute relates to a misunderstanding around:
- Division of responsibilities
- Division of work
- Management styles
- Your vision and priorities for the company
- Financial investment and profit-sharing
Consider a fair and realistic outcome to the dispute, including potential compromises. Keep a written record of the items discussed and any issues raised or outcomes proposed.
Mediation with a Business and Shareholder Dispute Lawyer
If you cannot resolve the dispute, a neutral third party may be able to help. A dispute resolution lawyer is experienced in mediating and dealing with a range of business-related disputes. A lawyer can explain your rights and obligations in the dispute and help avoid having the matter go to court by proposing a resolution. However, if necessary, they can also assist with commercial litigation.