Should I Include an Arbitration Clause in My Business Contract?
With limited exceptions, courts in Florida will enforce mandatory arbitration clauses that are included within business contracts and consumer agreements. As courts defer to these provisions, it is imperative that you think very carefully before inserting or allowing such a provision into your business agreements. If your contract mandates arbitration, you will almost certainly be required to arbitrate any resulting disputes.
To help you better determine whether or not an arbitration clause is appropriate for your business contract, our experienced Miami business arbitration lawyers have put together a list of four questions that you should ask yourself before agreeing to include a pre-dispute arbitration provision in your agreement.
- Is Confidentiality Important?
One major benefit of arbitration is that it allows parties to a dispute to maintain confidentiality about the terms of their contract and about the resolution of the dispute. While litigation generally becomes part of the public record, your arbitration proceedings can be kept private. If confidentiality is important to you and your business, including a mandatory arbitration clause could make sense.
- Do You Need Any Legal Disputes Resolved Quickly?
In many cases, companies need to get their business contract disputes resolved in the most timely and cost effective manner possible. This is another area where arbitration offers major advantages over litigation. A lawsuit can take a considerable amount of time to reach a resolution. On the other hand, arbitration proceedings are typically completed in an efficient manner.
- Are You Willing to Give Up the Right to Litigate?
When considering a forced arbitration clause, it is also important to remember that there are disadvantages. Most notably, if you include one of these provisions in your business agreement, you are essentially contracting away your ability to file a lawsuit. This is a big step. You need to be prepared to give up this right. If you are not comfortable with losing your right to litigation, you should strongly consider removing this clause from your business agreement.
- Have You Discussed Your Case With a Business Law Attorney?
Ultimately, every business has different needs. In some cases, including an arbitration clause will provide clear benefits for your company. In other cases, your business will be far better off without being restricted to arbitration. If you are still weighing the benefits and costs of mandatory arbitration, you should contact an experienced Miami business law attorney. Your attorney will be able to assess your case and determine whether or not arbitration is truly the best choice for your Florida company.
Contact Our South Florida Business Litigation Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our top-rated business arbitration lawyers are committed to providing elite legal services. If you are drafting or reviewing a business contract, and you considering including an arbitration provision, we are here to help. For a free legal consultation, please contact our law firm today. With offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we represent business law clients all around Southeast Florida, including in Coral Springs, North Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.