Small business disputes usually fall in one of two categories: problems with the insider and problems with the outsider.
Internal dissension may take the form of an embezzling employee, a sexual harasser wreaking havoc in the workplace, or even the two founders of the business breaking up. These issues can destroy a business or at least make it very difficult to get the core business done.
Take for example the trusted bookkeeper who siphons out money by diverting checks or creating phony invoices. This can go on for years when only one person is in charge of every aspect of bookkeeping and banking. Naturally this is not what the hard-working business owners deserve.
More difficult cases are where the owners, or their heirs who take over the business, have bitter disagreements. Sometimes there is no resolution that does not involve a breakup. But breakups can be expensive and destructive, or they can be collegial and ultimately constructive.
The problems with the outsiders involve such headaches as non-paying customers, non-performing vendors, and competitors violating laws of unfair competition. If these can’t be worked out by rational discussions and negotiations, court intervention may be necessary.