When it comes to owning a business, litigation might be a word that isn't particularly appreciated by business owners. After all, an impending case isn't good news in any aspect of a business, much more so when it comes to the legalities and financial costs involved.
Of course, given that litigation can happen out of almost any circumstance, it might seem impossible to plan for them. However, this doesn't mean you should panic at the slightest mention of litigation. In fact, according to Full Bright, 90 percent of businesses worldwide may be engaged in some form of dispute at any given time, with Small Business Association numbers adding that 36 to 53 percent of all small businesses may also be currently involved in some form of dispute in any given year. This means litigation is likely something that can happen to your company, and it's a situation you can very well prepare for.
- Remember the point. Sometimes, it's difficult to make sure you retain a cool head if you find out your business is under litigation. However, this might be a helpful mindset to maintain if you want the best outcome for your business during this process. Take note of the objective you want to achieve out of this litigation. Should you make a change in your operations or should you make an apology in order to resolve the issue? If a construction accident occurred, would helping shoulder the bill avoid further legal consequences? If your emotions are starting to aggravate the situation, perhaps a change of perspective is needed.
- Consider the costs of a trial, both financially and beyond the digits. If you believe your business litigation should proceed with a trial, remember that a trial has costs that can affect your business beyond your finances. Trials involve both time and resources being shelled out to make sure the outcome of the trial can be to your advantage. Even then, there's no guarantee that the outcome of the trial will be to your expectations.
- Consider the costs of a settlement. Another option for business litigation is to actually "settle," as in come to a compromise with the other party so that your case wouldn't have to go to court. Your lawyer may suggest you should take or not take a settlement given there are a lot of factors involved in the process as well. However, in general, settlement normally involves giving a particular sum of money or other conditions that may be deemed "acceptable" by both parties so a case wouldn't have to be pursued. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that the settlement amount in question will be to your expectations.
- Remember that business litigation can have both public and private repercussions. Being under litigation can affect your company in a variety of ways and not just with the resources you have to expend. Taking a litigation case to court for example will most likely mean parts of your operations will be made public record, and can affect your reputation. Employee morale and company operations may also take a toll in the entire process, as they may require adjustments in order to return to an "optimal" condition.
For business owners, being under litigation can seem a bit overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. If there's anything the above may share, however, it's that business litigation is something business experience at some point in their lives. Being familiar with how your business and industry works as well as getting a lawyer knowledgeable in business law or the intricacies of the construction business may be able to help you get through sticky litigation situations in no time.