Owning your company and being your own boss involves a great deal of responsibility. Being a successful business owner also means understanding the basics of business litigation and being prepared for potential legal issues should they arise. Although no company goes out looking for legal problems, these issues can impact virtually any business, and preparation is essential to avoiding long term damages.
Just as a litigation process exists for consumers, a process also exists for customers. Professional litigation addresses the problems and challenges unique to the business world. Having a handle on its fundamental lessons can help any business run more efficiently and can help any business owner determine when the appropriate time is to hire a professional. With an understanding of business litigation 101; as a small business owner you can help keep your company protected from potential legal issues and be prepared to hire a professional, when necessary for legal advice.
Understanding the Basics – What It Is and What it Isn’t
Simply put, business litigation involves resolving disputes as they relate to a company. According to the National Bar Association, business litigation is defined as the practice of law in dealing with legal issues related to problems that arise from business and commercial relationships. When these issues arise, most business owners will need to hire a professional attorney to assist with these legal matters. Typically, a business litigation attorney will evaluate, handle and resolve these issues before federal and state courts.
Typically, this type of litigation can mean dealing with issues between two companies or between new and old partners within the same organization. This type of litigation is not involved in disputes between a consumer or client and a company, though a reputable and well rounded attorney practice can easily handle that aspect of business law as well.
As a business owner, you know that your success highly depends on the business relationships you maintain. Dealing with ugly disputes or contract issues can tarnish the quality reputation you have built for your company, and result in significant losses. This is why being prepared and understanding these legal matters is so important.
Common Business Litigation Disputes
Preparing for business litigation issues before they happen is the best way to help protect your company from significant legal issues or damages. Here are some of the common types of business litigation disputes that impact small business owners today:
– Franchise Issues- When establishing new franchisees, brokering agreements, etc., many times a business litigation professional will be called in to handle the entire process on behalf of the business owner.
– Shareholder and Partner Disputes- Business owners who are facing potentially damaging repercussions from shareholder or partnership disputes, can call a professional to develop an offensive strategy to handle these disagreements.
– Fraud Litigation- This involves a single party knowingly lying in their contract in an effort to entice a partner or other company into a misleading deal or agreement.
– Insurance Litigation- Legal experts can help company owners with disputes over coverage between the insured and the insurers.
– Company Purchases- This includes the sale or transfer of ownership of a business.
– Breach of Contract- Business owners can get the protection they need when a party does not adhere to the conditions put forth in their contract.
The good news for small business owners is the average business litigation attorney will be well-versed in handling these types of issues and can help business owners handle these disputes with ease.
Being Prepared for Potential Litigation Issues
Discussing sensitive legal matters such as this can, understandably, make some owners a bit uncomfortable. No one relishes the idea of being in court, or having to escalate a professional dispute to that level. However, understanding the basics can be instrumental in helping any business owner avoid court and legal drama all together.