5 Common Types of Business Disputes and How to Avoid them

Operating a business is like any enterprise in that it has good parts and not-so-good parts. One of the less desirable aspects of running a business is dealing with business disputes, which, like death and taxes, are inevitable. But just as you can prepare for and mitigate against death and taxes, so too can you avoid and lessen the impact of business disputes. Here are five common types of business disputes and what you can do to avoid them.
Employment disputes: These disputes can encompass a wide range of issues with employees, including issues related to terminations, allegations of discrimination, benefits, and non-compete agreements. Some of these issues can be avoided or at least minimized through careful use of contracts with employees and thorough knowledge of the state laws that apply. The same holds true for non-compete agreements where an employee is prohibited from seeking employment in the same field or geographic area for a certain amount of time. All of these issues share the common thread of being avoidable and mitigatable with good advice from an attorney who is knowledgeable about employment laws in your state.
Inter-business disputes: Disputes between businesses are as old as the concept of business itself. These can range from employee-poaching (see the non-compete in employment disputes), to trademark or patent infringement, or even interference with a contractual relationship. In these types of situations, counsel that is well-versed in litigation and litigation avoidance is a must.
Consumer issues: Businesses would not exist without consumers, but sometimes they make it awfully hard to operate a business. From Yelp complaints to lawsuits for slip-and-fall claims, consumers can certainly take a bite out of a business. As with the other categories of business disputes, it is essential to have knowledge of state laws and have competent counsel available to advise you when a situation does arise.
Breach of Contract: While breach of contract is a fairly run-of-the-mill issue in the legal world, breaches of contracts in business settings can spell doom for a business. The essential work in a breach of contract case ideally happens before the breach even occurs, usually in the drafting stage wherein the parties lay out enough terms and rules to govern their relationship so as to make a breach less likely. The second best option is to have proficient counsel guiding you through every step of the process.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty: In certain corporate entities, the law provides that the officers and directors of that entity have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the company, even if sometimes that means it is not in their best interest. When directors or officers breach this duty, either through conflicts of interest, failing to comply with company purposes (i.e. a non-profit), or failing to disclose information to stockholders, they can be found to have breached that duty to the corporation and be sanctioned.
Are you a business owner who is concerned about these common mistakes and want to avoid them? Then you should consider contacting Carla D. Aikens for a consultation regarding your situation and your options.  

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