Small claims courts are not just for individuals with personal loan or property disputes; they can also be used by businesses to make claims against customers, suppliers or any other stakeholders. They are an increasingly popular arena in which small business disputes can be solved relatively quickly and with moderately low costs.
Businesses can submit disputes of up to £5,000 and claims can be issued for areas such as damage to business premises, essential goods or stock that are not delivered as promised or payments that have not been made. The process takes place in a normal court, but is on a separate ‘track’ that has been developed to streamline the proceedings as much as possible.
How to make a Claim
Small claims court should always be a last result when dealing with commercial disputes as it could permanently burn bridges between you and other key stakeholders who may be going through some difficult times themselves. Always communicate with them as much as possible and explore all options before resorting to the courtroom.
It is not required, but it is recommended that you utilise the services of specialist small claims solicitors to help you navigate through the process and prepare you for court, if it comes to it. They will guide you through all the paperwork and ensure that you are in the strongest position possible. Most importantly, they will reduce the overall stress that comes with any legal dispute and reduce the amount of time you spend on chasing debtors, allowing you to focus on your business.
Commercial disputes in small claims court are usually informal and can be held in private if both parties agree. Evidence is not usually given under oath and the judge is fully in control of the time taken during statements and cross-examinations. You can put forward the case yourself, or you can have your solicitor represent you for a greater chance of things ending in your favour.
If the Defendant Won’t Pay
If you have taken the debtor through the courts but they do not obey a judgement order to pay, your next step will be to take enforcement action. Again, having a solicitor handle this process for you will take all the stress away from you and make the overall proceedings as smooth as possible with minimal disruption to your normal day to day business. With the guidance of your solicitor, you could use the following actions:
How to Find Solicitors for Small Claims Court
If you are facing commercial disputes it is highly recommended that you use the services of a specialist solicitor. Our free solicitor search and comparison service will provide you with a number of fixed-fee quotes from local law firms with absolutely no obligation or hidden costs. Enquire today via the details on our contact page or fill in our business legal request form.
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