Alternative dispute resolution

We offer a free ADR service to assist small businesses in resolving disputes with other businesses or government departments.

The ADR service is easy to access, affordable, and generally resolves disputes quickly, allowing you to get back to running your business sooner.

Parties can choose to use the service as an alternative to going to court however that option is always open.

The service is overseen by the WA Small Business Commissioner.

Speaking to an SBDC adviser

Before being referred to the ADR service, you will generally speak to an SBDC adviser who will ask you to provide the details relating to the dispute and offer practical advice that may help you to resolve the dispute quickly. 

If you are unable to resolve the dispute at this stage, the SBDC adviser may refer you to the ADR service.

There is no cost for this service.

ADR Case management

If you have been unable to resolve your dispute after speaking with an SBDC adviser, your dispute may be referred to the ADR service.

An ADR case manager will contact both parties of a dispute and try to assist the parties to clarify the issues in dispute and identify possible ways to resolve the dispute. All parties will be encouraged to act in good faith throughout these discussions.

Case managers are independent and neutral. They may provide the parties with general guidance but do NOT provide legal advice. However they may recommend that a party seeks further specialist advice if necessary. 

There is no cost for this service.

Mediation

If the parties are unable to resolve their dispute with intensive case management, the ADR case manager may suggest the parties consider accessing the SBDC's subsidised mediation service.

Mediation offers a more structured negotiation process in which an independent mediator assists both parties to reach an agreement.

Participating in mediation is voluntary; in most cases a mutually agreeable outcome can be achieved with one mediation session.

The cost for mediation is $125 per party per session, with the remainder of the costs being subsidised by the State Government.

Find out more about mediation.

More information

  • If you would like to access our alternative dispute resolution service please contact us to discuss.