Hopefully on a day-to-day business, your business has few – if any – ongoing or threatened disputes. However they can erupt suddenly and in any area of your business. But did you know that taking sound legal advice at an early stage can be invaluable? Not only can it prevent an issue becoming a full-blown dispute, but it can help you to mitigate your loss or exit a business relationship in the correct way, saving future time and costs.
Business disputes can take many forms. Here are a few situations when it would be wise to take early advice:
Terminating a Contract
Sometimes it’s necessary to end a business relationship. But did you know that HOW you do this can have a huge impact upon whether you do so correctly or incorrectly? Failure to follow a proper contractual procedure, or to act within contractual legal principles, even unintentionally, could make you liable for the other party’s losses. Take advice BEFORE you give any indication that you are thinking of terminating, to ensure you don’t compromise your position.
Business Partner/Shareholder/Director Disputes
These more than anything else can have an enormous impact on the future of your business. The best way of managing these is to ensure that at the outset of the relationship (or later, but before a dispute arises!) everything is set out clearly and unambiguously. Having a Partnership Agreement, Shareholders’ Agreement, Director’s Service Contract can be invaluable in having a pre-agreed mechanism for situations when business partners want to part ways. But if the situation arises and you don’t have this in place, taking advice early and before positions become entrenched can be key in making the process as pain-free as possible.
Cashflow and managing supplier and customer relationships
Ensuring you have your own good set of terms that apply to all transactions is the ideal. But where you are transacting on someone else’s terms as may be the case with suppliers, having someone check over any issues or pitfalls can be the difference between a continuing relationship and a claim for breach of contract.
Suppliers, customers, your own business can all run into financial difficulties. Taking early legal advice can help you manage the situation so as to ensure that your position isn’t compromised unnecessarily.
I can give advice, draft terms, set out best practice procedures for your staff, negotiate settlements when there is a dispute or advice on the best Court action to take if all other avenues fail. Get in touch for a free initial chat on 01273 284008.