How to Handle a Business Dispute in Singapore

by 6 January 2021Corporate & Commercial, Knowledge & Insights

Business disputes are sadly common when it comes to the corporate world. With these conflicts seeing a party dispute the terms of a previously signed agreement, there are countless ways your business could become embroiled in such an event. Fortunately, a professional commercial lawyer in Singapore can ensure your company handles these issues effectively, ensuring you reach a resolution and get back to business as soon as possible.

Common examples of business disputes

business dispute

When contracts and agreements are in place, there’s always the potential for parties to disagree about how its stipulations should be applied. Whether this dispute is fair or not, reaching a satisfying conclusion is often a tumultuous and time-consuming process. Consider these common examples of business disputes.

Employment Disputes

Employment disputes arise when an employer takes action against their employee or a worker brings legal action against the company. There are many reasons for an employment dispute, but some of the most common involve confidentiality breaches, employee benefits and summary dismissal.

Partnership Disputes

Making sure a partnership dispute is resolved rapidly is the best thing for both the business and its partners. Typical examples of partnership disputes involve conflicts around corporate responsibilities, company objectives and general misconduct, ranging from fraud to aggressive behaviour.

Breaches of Contract

Breaches of contract are another commonplace business dispute. These arise when one party in a contract believes the other party has not honoured the obligations laid out in the document’s terms. From failure to make payment to defective goods, this kind of business dispute often requires a commercial lawyer to get involved.

3 ways business disputes are resolved in Singapore

businessman in frustration

Although plenty of business disputes eventually make their way into the courtroom, not every disagreement has to end this way. Fortunately, companies operating in Singapore have a range of tools at their disposal to solve conflicts without needing to involve a judge.


Mediation is one-way business disputes are resolved without involving the courts. By using a neutral mediator, the disagreeing parties can discuss their problem with the help of an impartial third-person. This gives each party the chance to share their views on the matter without having to blame or attack the other party.

As the aim of mediation is to have the parties reach an agreement on their own, the mediator does not decide who is the culpable party. If the participants manage to reach a resolution, a commercial lawyer is present to create a legally binding agreement. Mediation is a smart option for those looking to solve a business dispute quickly and affordably.


Arbitration has rapidly emerged in Singapore as a way to resolve business disputes without going to court. This process involves paying an arbitrator to decide the outcome of a disagreement, but unlike the traditional legal system, the parties involved decide the procedural rules, locations of proceedings and confidentiality of any decision made. With arbitrators having the power to make legally binding decisions, this process is often used to settle business disputes privately.


If mediation or arbitration fails to solve a business dispute, the only remaining avenue is litigation. This costly and time-consuming process is where one partner takes another to court in an effort to reach a resolution. With a judge, and often a jury, determining a legally binding outcome for both parties, civil litigation should be seen as a last resort for most companies, as it usually significantly disrupts daily operations and leads to a loss of consumer trust.

If you encounter an avoidable business dispute, make sure you understand the processes in place that exist to resolve these issues. With the help of highly experienced commercial lawyers at Tembusu Law, we can guide you through this challenging time to reach a legally binding and enforceable solution. Contact us today.

About the author

About the author

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Director of Tembusu Law. He is also the founder of LawGuide Singapore, a prominent legaltech startup which successfully created and launched Singapore’s first legal chatbot in 2017.


We'll always make time for you. Tell us what's on your mind and we'll find a way to help.