3 Different Types Of Business Dispute Resolution

Posted on: 21 July 2023


Is your business facing a difficult dispute? Perhaps you're in a dispute with a key employee, an important vendor, a customer, or even a business partner. Business disputes can be difficult, especially when you would like to try and save the relationship. If you file a lawsuit against the other party, you could permanently destroy the relationship. You also could create substantial legal fees for both sides. Dispute resolution is an alternative way to settle the issue. In dispute resolution, a trusted third party, like an experienced attorney, helps you and the other side reach an agreement without taking the issue to court. Below are a few different kinds of dispute resolution.


This is a form of resolution in which a third party facilitates negotiations. The third party is usually a trained mediator, like a lawyer or judge. But it can be anyone, including a friend, coworker, or family member. It's not the mediator's job to decide which side is right or wrong. Rather, the mediator guides the conversation and suggests areas of compromise to help the two sides reach an agreement. Mediation can be a great option when both sides are on professional terms but need assistance negotiating and reaching a deal. Mediation is non-binding, so neither side is obligated to sign the deal.


Conciliation is similar to mediation in that a trusted third party guides it, and the negotiation results are non-binding. However, the difference is that the process starts with the third party presenting their own proposal. The two sides then use that proposed agreement as a base for their negotiations. Conciliation can be effective because it speeds up the process. You start with a proposed deal and work from there, pushing the negotiation further along the process very quickly. Conciliation can be a good option when the framework for an agreement is in place but details still need to be worked out.


Arbitration is more formal than mediation and conciliation. In arbitration, each side presents its case to a licensed arbitrator. The arbitrator can ask each side questions, review evidence, and discuss their priorities and objectives with each side. After reviewing each side's case, the arbitrator makes a ruling that could favor either side or could be a compromise between the two sides' objectives. Arbitration is usually a binding process, meaning the two sides must abide by the arbitrator's ruling. Arbitration is a good option when both sides are at an impasse but both want to avoid litigation.

Ready to resolve your business dispute without a lawsuit? Contact a business attorney today to learn about resolution options.