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As a businessperson, you will often work with other businesses and clients to create working partnerships, supply or receive goods. As in any other relationship, conflict may arise when there is miscommunication or when one party goes against the initial agreement.
So, how can you avoid such disputes? Read the excerpt below to understand how you can prevent and manage commercial disputes.
Insist on Written Agreements
Although verbal agreements are legally enforceable in Australia, they may not be as effective as a written agreement. The contract should reflect the negotiated agreement between the two parties. Your lawyers will draft the contract and explain its various clauses to ensure each party understands their obligations.
If you run a business that provides services such as car rentals or consultation services, you may have a standard contract detailing what kind of services you will provide, your terms and conditions. Customers must read the agreement before signing.
Contingencies and Amendments
Contingencies are conditions that must be fulfilled by either party. Otherwise, the contract becomes null and void. When buying a house, the contract of sale could compel the seller to allow a house inspection. If the property has serious problems, the buyer can back out of the deal. On the other hand, a construction contract could require the contractor to provide financial records to ensure he or she has sufficient funds to start the project.
Changing business environment may force the parties to amend the terms of the contract. For instance, a client could want to extend the contract while a contractor may want to adjust his or her pricing. An amendment clause allows the parties to change the agreement.
Document Your Communication
As a rule, all official communication should be written and documented. It helps prevent incidences of miscommunication. Besides, the records can be used to settle disputes. For instance, take a situation when you wrote to a transport company asking them to keep your products chilled at 4℃. If you incur damages due to their negligence, you will have sufficient evidence.
Resolving Commercial Conflict
The contract must have a dispute resolution clause detailing how the parties will resolve conflict. Negotiations are an effective way of resolving such issues. Typically, the parties meet in the presence of their lawyers and attempt to resolve the dispute. If negotiation does not work, parties could ask an arbiter to help them address the matter.
Avoid commercial disputes with clients and other businesses by drafting a contract detailing the terms of the agreement. A commercial lawyer will ensure the contract protects your interests. He or she will also represent you in case of conflict.Share