Partnering Architects

At this month’s meeting of the AIA Westchester / Mid-Huson Practice Management Committe we were discussing the subject of partnering (two architects working with a joint venture agreement).

Among many interesting comments, the question of legal agreements was raised and I wondered if the AIA offered a document for architects looking to partner. As assumed, they do. C801™-1993, Joint Venture Agreement for Professional Services can be used for just such an arrangement.

“C801™-1993 is intended to be used by two or more parties to provide for their mutual rights and obligations in forming a joint venture. It is intended that the joint venture, once established, will enter into an agreement with the owner to provide professional services. The parties may be all architects, all engineers, a combination of architects and engineers, or another combination of professionals. The document provides a choice between two methods of joint venture operation. The “Division of Compensation” method assumes that services provided and the compensation received will be divided among the parties in the proportions agreed to at the outset of the project. Each party’s profitability is then dependent on individual performance of pre-assigned tasks and is not directly tied to that of the other parties. The “Division of Profit and Loss” method is based on each party performing work and billing the joint venture at cost plus a nominal amount for overhead. The ultimate profit or loss of the joint venture is divided between or among the parties at completion of the project, based on their respective interests.” (

In addition to C801, the AIA also offers C105™-2005 Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consulting Architect; a document for architects wanting to hire another architect to perform as a consultant.

“C105 is a standard form of agreement between the architect and another architect that provides services as a consultant. C105 assumes and references a preexisting owner-architect agreement known as the Prime Agreement. B141™–1997, B141™CMa–1992, B151™–1997, and B163™–1993 are the documents most frequently used to establish the Prime Agreement. C105 does not describe a fixed scope of services for the consulting architect but instead provides a location in the agreement for inserting a description of those services. This document may be used with a variety of compensation methods, including multiple of direct personnel expense and stipulated sum.” (

To view synopses of all Contract Documents offered by the AIA, click here.

To purchase AIA Contract Documents, click here.

Have you partnered? Have you hired another architect to perform as a consultant? Share your thoughts, ideas and opinions by clicking the “comments” link above.


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