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What’s Next

We’re all trying to figure out what’s next. Whether you’re considering a career move, an investment, or a retirement plan, it’s important to identify alternatives and their potential results – and plan ahead. If you want to make a change – whether it’s heading to the door for a well-deserved retirement or advancing your career through firm ownership – there are many important considerations that require advance planning.

Are you thinking it is time in your career that you move into firm ownership?

Are you ready for firm ownership – and understand how this will impact your life and career? Have you asked and answered the pertinent questions that such a transition poses? Here are some resources to help you sort through important considerations.

Transitioning Your Firm for What’s Next
A panel of architects familiar with the importance of firm transitions share their expertise about how vital planning for leadership succession is for a successful architecture firm — and what it takes to make that happen on an ongoing basis.

Advice to Potential New Principals
Based on a benchmark study and years of experience counseling internal ownership transfer within design firms, what do potential new firm principals need to consider? Answers involve your money, your partners, your input, and your skills.

Ownership Transition: Developing Future Firm Leadership
This session identifies the kinds of advance planning that current owners need to do to prepare for a successful firm transition, including the challenges and decisions for those who wish to become firm owners, the various risks and hurdles to manage both the architect’s and the firm’s interests, and an understanding of relevant insurance issues such Extended Reporting Periods, claims history and limits of liability.

Making the Transition to Running Your Own Firm
A prudent design professional entering private practice must consider insurance for their firm, personal coverage, and staff benefits – and the management of each. This checklist of vital insurance coverage and more will help make you and your firm successful.

Perhaps you are wondering what you do with your firm when you retire – or even if you can afford to retire? 

Running a firm that is successful and profitable is not enough to secure your future. To create real value in a firm into your retirement, then you must first develop the next generation of leaders, whether you’re transferring your firm internally, merging with another firm, or selling your firm. This means planning ahead to recruit and retain employees who have the potential to take the firm into the next generation. These resources help explain the options and their consequences, so that you can make a more informed decision and plan ahead for the next chapter.

Architecture Firm Ownership Transitions
The decision whether to sell, merge, or close a firm will affect the financial return to the owners as well as employees and the firm’s culture. Options must be weighed in conjunction with the circumstances and priorities of the firm’s owners. Understanding various approaches, possible outcomes, and necessary preparation can guide firm principals to chart the best path.

Selling, Merging, or Closing Your Practice
Ownership transition is a vital strategic planning step for an architecture firm and firm owners should consider the firm’s future many years in advance of making the transition to sell, merge, or close a firm – because each path presents different financial and taxation consequences and agreement of the changes is paramount to firm culture, leadership, and autonomy.

Insurance Concerns in Mergers and Acquisitions
Many firms wait until the last minute to consult with their insurance advisor – about critical issues such as prior acts coverage, named insureds, claims experience, outstanding incidents – and more – which can cost the buyer and the seller money, time, and headaches that are avoidable.

Extended Reporting Periods: What Are They and Why Do You Need Them?
Whether your firm is closing its doors or acquiring or merging with another firm, it’s important to understand how your professional liability policy is affected with these changes, what Extended Reporting Periods (ERPs) are, and how they work. And here’s more about what kind of professional liability coverage you need as you walk out the door.

Firm Valuation Service Providers
When considering firm ownership transition–whether internal or external acquisition or a  merger, employee stock ownership plans, equity-based incentive plans, shareholder dispute, tax issues, litigation support, or other corporate planning, you must determine firm value. Here’s a list of companies that can offer you A/E industry experience, professional training, and accreditation.

For information about ownership transition, as well as topics that range from cyber risks to climate change impacts to firm management strategies, visit the AIA Trust website Resources page.




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