Business disputes, if not resolved quickly, often pose a serious threat to the continued vitality of an enterprise. In all events, business disputes are a significant distraction from the tasks necessary to successfully operate an enterprise.
The attorneys at Meyers & Flowers in Chicago recognize the importance of "getting back to business" and have guided many businesses not only to successfully and quickly resolve litigation, but also to avoid litigation in the first place.
Most Common Types of Business Disputes
Business disputes can occur within a business or involve a relationship with a supplier, advertising agency or even a government body. There are four types of business disputes that the attorneys at Meyers & Flowers frequently manage.
- Partnership Disputes
- Employment Disputes
- Business to Business Disputes
- Breach of Contract Disputes
Partnership disputes are the most common type of business dispute. A business partner dispute is very disruptive to the day-to-day activities of the business and can cause the business to fail. There can be many reasons for a dispute but the cause of many of them is a weak or completely missing partnership agreement.
Financial obligations are a prime catalyst for partnership disputes. This usually surfaces when the business is experiencing a cash flow problem. Partners should clearly understand when profits can be taken, and how liabilities are shared. Other issues that can lead to a dispute commonly concern hiring key personnel and disagreements on company objective.
Employee disputes within a business usually center on discrimination, salary expectations, and unfair termination or disapproved sick or maternity leave. These disputes can become very disruptive to a business as they frequently involve government employment and labor agencies. One of the best ways to avoid employment disputes is to have a solid employment agreement in place and signed by all employees prior to hiring. A firm understanding of local and state employment laws by the human resources department is another safeguard against unnecessary litigation.
Business to Business Disputes
Disputes between businesses cover every aspect of the professional relationships developed by a business on a daily basis. Many of these routine actions are undertaken without a formal contract covering performance. When businesses suffer financially or have their reputation tainted because of non-performance of a supplier, it often results in legal action
Disputes between businesses can go both ways. Outside companies or individuals who supply professional services or goods to a business start legal action when there is a dispute on payment or performance. These actions are complicated particularly if there is no written contract or agreement.
Breach of Contract Disputes
There is a large body of the law devoted to contract law exclusively. Usually breach of contract involves financial obligations or monetary reimbursement. Contracts also contain language that outline performance of duties and indicate who is responsible for each aspect of the activity. When there is a violation of any of the terms of a contract, a lawsuit is often filed to force compliance with the terms of the agreement or to seek monetary reimbursement or compensation for losses.
Prevention of Business Partner Disputes
Business partner disputes are among the most frequently filed business dispute lawsuits. The nature of a business partner dispute stems from a disagreement on the existence of a right or obligation and/or over some aspect of compensation.
At Meyers & Flowers we thoroughly examine the partnership agreement, if one exists, in order to assess the damages our client has experienced. Partnership disputes can become very complex when there is a perception of non-performance. Often there are issues regarding the percentage of ownership of the partners and the result of major strategic decisions to profits. Also, the ability of one or more partners to bind the company to debt or obligation can have a major impact on business operations. All disputes focus on how the actions taken, or not taken, affects compensation, profits and company viability.
A written agreement is always easier to either defend or litigate should the need arise. Whether it is a partnership agreement, an employment agreement or a contract between businesses, a well conceived agreement can avoid a lawsuit but more importantly, can help to get the business back to normal daily activities when an aspect of the agreement is challenged.
Resolving Business Disputes
Business disputes are often very complex involving a number of parties and a variety of opinions on what was actually intended when entering into a business arrangement. At Meyers & Flowers in Illinois, our legal team is equipped to handle the many details that reinforce our client’s position. We advocate relentlessly for our clients, ensuring any monetary loss is fully documented for use at trial or in settlement negotiations.
We recommend that if you start a new endeavor or business practice, it is best to put everything in writing with your business partner before. At Meyers & Flowers our attorneys are well versed in business law and can help make sure that all the paperwork is straightened out to help prevent an upset. It is best to have it all agreed ahead of time so both parties are happy with what control the other person has. Feel free to call to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you draw up legal documentation between partners to help prevent business disputes.