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Alternative dispute resolution: arbitration, binding advice and mediation

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

Are you an entrepreneur in the Netherlands? And are you in a dispute with another entrepreneur, a consumer, a current or former employee or tenant? You have the option of taking the dispute to court. There are also forms of conflict resolution outside the ordinary courts:

  • arbitration
  • mediation
  • binding advice
  • disciplinary procedure
  • disputes committee or complaints board


In arbitration you and the other party agree to put your dispute before an arbitrator or arbitration committee. An arbitration committee consists of arbiters from a specific (business) sector. You can request arbitration with the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI).


When you choose mediation, an independent mediator helps to resolve the dispute. You choose this in conjunction with the other party in the conflict. Even when a case has already been brought to court, you can still choose mediation.

Binding advice

Binding advice is when 1 or more (binding) advisers decide which legal solution applies to the conflict between you and the other party. Binding advice is a substitute for court proceedings.

Disciplinary procedure

Is a complaint filed against you? A disciplinary committee decides if you comply with the rules governing your profession. It concerns independent professions such as for instance civil-law notaries, doctors, veterinarians, and accountants.

Disputes committee or complaints board

Does a customer complain about 1 of your products or services? And do you fail to reach an agreement with them? Your customer may ask a complaints board to pass judgement. Most complaints boards are part of a sector organisation.

Clause in contract

By including a dispute resolution clause in your contract, you can mutually agree that any conflicts will be brought before the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI). You can state that arbitration, binding advice, or mediation will be treated in accordance with a procedure laid down in advance and known to all parties. Such a stipulation can be included in national and international contracts.

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