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It's no secret that business relationships can lead to disputes. There might be a disagreement over whether a business has lived up to its end of a contract or you might have a dispute over a retail or commercial lease.

Anyone who has been involved in a dispute will tell you that business disputes are frustrating and time-consuming. The stress takes a toll and the time lost to the dispute is expensive. And then there are legal costs to consider.

Many disputes can be sorted out by talking to the other side and trying to find out what can work for both of you. A business relationship doesn't have to end because of a disagreement.

No matter how serious you believe the dispute is, it is almost always in everyone's best interests to find a solution as early as possible. Early action keeps the costs and the stress down and to keep a current relationship on track can beat starting over with someone else.

The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner offers a service to help the parties talk about their problems, and work towards a solution through negotiation, communication and perhaps mediation rather than litigation. We don't take sides, whether both parties are small businesses or one is a big business or government agency.

If you need assistance call 1300 795 534 or email we.assist@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

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