Are you looking to start your own panel beating business or expand your already existing panel beating business? If so, you should begin to consider how you would resolve any dispute that may arise with a contractor. Some business owners may go through their entire lives without having so much as a bad word spoken between them and their contractors. Others may struggle to find a single contractor that even comes close to delivering a standard they expect. It is important that you prepare yourself and your business as best you can, in the event that a dispute breaks out with one of your contractors. Your knowledge of how to handle such a situation will save your business time and money, allowing you to achieve the best possible solution for a difficult situation.

How should I approach the situation?

The best way to approach such a situation is to remain calm. Obviously this may be difficult to do in the event of a strict deadline or an unhappy customer. However, making threats or taking things into your own hands will never achieve an outcome, and is almost guaranteed to make the situation worse.

One way to approach a contractor with whom you are having a dispute is to invite them into your business in a relaxed setting and be completely open and honest with them. Tell your contractor what the issue is, and why this is the case. Next, you should allow them to respond and be sure to diffuse any anger or harsh words, whether or not you agree with them. Then finally, you should allow your contractor to speak their mind and gather their thoughts on the situation.

You may not agree with a single word you contractor says in this meeting, and it may irk you to have to listen to them. However, it is important that you allow them to feel that they are being heard and give them an opportunity to get their point across. The result of this conversation could well be a resolution of the dispute between your panel beating business and your contractor, however, it could also lead nowhere. Even if the conversation ends where it began, you will at least be better informed as to how your contractor is going to handle any future situations.

What if talking to my contractor fails?

If talking to your contractor fails to bear any fruit, then you should seek the advice of a legal professional as soon as possible. This will allow you to protect your panel beating business from any legal action that your contractor may instigate while also providing you with legal surety as you explore your options. From here you will have several choices to make about how you are going to end the dispute, and what legal mechanism or statutory body you will rely upon.

Options available to your panel beating business include mediation, arbitration and going to court. These three options appear from lowest to highest in terms of the cost that your business may incur, and the rigidity of the procedures surrounding them. Mediation will involve a third party who attempts to bring both parties together to come to a solution upon which they can both agree. Arbitration will involve a third party hearing both you and your contractor, and then coming to a decision by which both parties will be legally bound. Finally, you could always go to court but this will be the most costly option available to you. If large sums of money are involved, it will allow you to have your case heard by the letter of the law.

Conclusion

If you are looking to start your own panel beating business or expand your already existing panel beating business, you should begin to consider how you would resolve any dispute that may arise with a contractor. Disputes with contractors are a reality of life for many business owners, and can often depend on the luck of the draw. Stay calm and attempt to resolve the problem smoothly and without outside influence. Should this fail, you should then seek the advice of a legal professional that will be able to assist you with choosing the best next step for your business. Finally, if you have any further questions relating to how to resolve a dispute with your contractor, feel free to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Adi Snir

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