Are you looking to start your own carpentry business or expand your already existing carpentry business? If so, you might want to consider how you will resolve any dispute that may arise between you and one of your contractors. It is a reality of the business world that sometimes you will not see eye to eye with a business partner, which could result in a job stagnating or falling through entirely. Such a situation could prove disastrous to the reputation of your business, and directly affect your bottom line. Therefore, you will want to resolve any dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that your business can continue to prosper and grow rather than stagnate. However, there are a number of different ways you could go about resolving a dispute with your contractor depending on your circumstances. Consequently, it is important that you are aware of all the options available to your carpentry business, so that you can choose the one that best suits your situation.

Where do I begin when resolving a dispute with my contractor?

The first place you should start is ensuring that your contractor is aware that there is a dispute. It can sometimes be the case that a contractor has misunderstood what has been conveyed to them. In this situation, threatening or demanding certain things from your contractor will definitely not be a sound first course of action. You will catch them off guard, which will generally cause them to go on the defensive.

Once you have ensured that your contractor is totally aware of the issue that has caused the dispute, you should then give them time to address the issue. However, if this fails to achieve a result, then you should arrange to have a formal meeting with your contractor. In this meeting, you should again outline the cause of the dispute in precise terms, and give your contractor a chance to respond. Furthermore, you should listen carefully to the response of your contractor, as all future actions will most likely depend upon it. For example, if the response is belligerent and uncooperative, then you should probably choose a more adversarial option. Alternatively, if the response is remorseful, and your contractor admits their error, then you may be able to reach a solution then and there.

What options do I have if my contractor is uncooperative?

If your contractor is uncooperative in the formal meeting that you arranged, you should begin considering how best to protect your carpentry business. First and foremost, you should start by seeking legal advice, as any decision you make from this point onwards will have significant legal consequences for your business. However, you should also have some idea as to which course of action you believe will work best for you.

If your contractor is behaving in a manner that is belligerent and uncooperative, as discussed above, then you could consider choosing arbitration as a way to resolve the dispute. Arbitration is a process in which an independent third party listens to both you and your contractor, reviews any evidence available such as a contract or photos of the work done, and then comes to a decision. Importantly, this decision is final and binding upon both your carpentry business and your contractor. Furthermore, it can generally not be appealed in court, as you will sign an agreement stating that the decision is final. Also, arbitration can be substantially cheaper than going to court, while also providing the finality of a binding decision that means your carpentry business can move on as quickly as possible. Finally, you should be able to distinguish arbitration from mediation, which requires much more cooperation between you and your contractor, which will, unfortunately, be impossible in some situations.

Conclusion

If you are looking to start your own carpentry business or expand your already existing carpentry business, you might want to consider how you will resolve any dispute that may arise between you and one of your contractors. Unfortunately, it is likely that during the course of your business, you will have a dispute with one contractor or another. When this time comes, it is important that you ensure that you communicate the central cause of the dispute with your contractor. Clear and open communication ensures you and your contractor have the best chance of fixing the problem and maintaining a working business relationship. However, if cooperation is impossible, you should begin by seeking legal advice so that a legal professional can assist you if you choose to go to arbitration. Finally, if you have any further questions relating to protecting your carpentry business from a dispute with a contractor, feel free to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Adi Snir

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