At some point or another, you may run into a dispute while operating your business, and this can turn into a lawsuit if not settled with quick action. As explains, as soon as you can tell that litigation may be on the horizon, it’s time to consult with a lawyer who can protect your best interests. As a business owner, you want to protect your company. After all, you have likely spent quite some time becoming a business owner, so the last thing you want to deal with is an issue that takes you away from the routine of daily business operation. Some common causes of litigation at the commercial level are discussed below.
Breach of Contract
Throughout the time of running your business, you will have agreements with several parties, such as employees, licensees, vendors, and other business partners. One party may breach their side of the agreement, or there may be unfounded accusations of a breach where none actually happened. In breach of contract disputes, they often arise when a term was broken and it caused other parties to have their business or profit affected. Unresolved disputes of this nature may move on to courtroom litigation, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Infringement of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property, such as patents, trade secrets, copyrighted materials, and trademarks must be carefully protected. There are certain kinds of intellectual property that are licensed out to others for use in marketing or manufacturing, and these agreements must be controlled with detailed contract terms. In other times, for trade secrets in particular, those who have access to private information are bound by the confidentiality agreement. Intellectual property that is mishandled or misused in any way can result in a dispute, and an eventual lawsuit if not resolved right away.
Company partners, LLC members, shareholders, and others may not agree on policy or strategy, which can result in a dispute. Disagreements may happen from failing to abide by fiduciary duties, misusing funds of the company, and other kinds of mismanagement which impacts how the business runs. In all these scenarios, a dispute can be prevented with clear and concise bylaws and agreements. In this way, members, partners, and shareholders understand what is expected of them, and disputes that do happen can hopefully reach a solution promptly.
Every new hire must sign an agreement that outlines their responsibilities as an employee of the company. However, despite signing on the dotted line, an employee may not keep these agreements. Or even worse, your own management team may be accused of engaging in discriminatory or unfair practices. These can lead to serious employment disputes, which can quickly develop into litigation. Carefully created agreements, in addition to enforcing solid policies and procedures, can reduce the burdens of employment disputes, while preventing them from arising to begin with.