The Lechlade Festival
The Lechlade Festival
Handling A Commercial Dispute: A Guide For Small Business Owners

Let’s be honest: no one wants to find themselves in a commercial dispute. The last year or so has been brutal enough for small business owners without having to worry about a potential legal issue. We haven’t come this far, through those first uncertain months of the pandemic, through lockdowns, reopening’s and further lockdowns, all the way through to what looks like a brighter summer (even if the numbers are not that encouraging at the moment), only to fall apart in the face of something like this. If this is the first time that your small business has faced this kind of issue, the situation might seem overwhelming, but you have plenty of tools at your disposal. Here are a few tips to help you.

Have A Record Of Everything

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you have a record of every single element of this dispute. Whether it’s contracts, emails, text messages, receipts from a café where you met the other party…you need to have it all at your disposal. One of the most important parts of any commercial dispute is knowing that you have a crystal-clear understanding and record of your business’ actions.

Talk To A Solicitor

When you’re a small business owner, it can be tempting to try and do everything yourself. When you’re facing a dispute, of course you want to be able to resolve it under your own steam. This is your business after all, and it can be particularly tricky when you know the other party personally and you can’t see any reason why this can’t be resolved amicably. However, that is all the more reason why you should hire a lawyer with experience in this area.

They will approach the issue with none of the personal or emotional baggage and can chart you a course out of this situation. Talk to dispute litigation solicitors who can explain the issue and potential outcomes to you. There are a lot of different kinds of commercial disputes, from fraud to construction issues, so make sure that the lawyer you’re talking to has the right experience. Ashwood Solicitors have the expertise to help your business and they know that an expensive, time-consuming court case should be a last resort.

Keep Things Amicable

While, as we mentioned, some business owners do their utmost to keep things civil during a dispute, going so far as to try and avoid getting lawyers involved entirely. Others are less even-tempered. If you are getting into a dispute, then you need to remember to stay amicable.

Remember that if this does end up going to court, that your attitude in any exchanges will be visible to others and aggression may well not reflect well on you. You should also remember that going to court should not be the end goal for you. If you can resolve this amicably, this is absolutely the best-case scenario for both parties, and it will allow you both to get back to work as quickly as possible. There are plenty more problems coming on the horizon, from new variants to Brexit issues, so you need to keep your eyes forward.