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Business Model

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When considering independence, you have a few business model options to choose from. The business model you pursue will depend on whether you want to move away from employee status to become a business owner, the degree to which you are prepared to take on the tasks of running an independent operation, and whether you want to move to a fee-based practice or retain commissions as well.

Considering going independent?

You have built a successful business as a dependent advisor (lawyer, tax consultant, accountant, financial adviser, consutant…), and now you are considering going independent.

There are a number of options available to you, from starting your own professional advisor firm to partnering with a third-party or joining an established professional firm. To determine which approach best meets your long-term goals, you need to first ask yourself a number of important questions. For example:

  • Am I entrepreneurial and interested in running the day-to-day aspects of my own firm?
  • Am I prepared to take on the tasks required to effectively establish a new operation?
  • Do I want to move away from an employee status and become a business owner?

Business Model Consultation is offered through Braxton Transition Help, a comprehensive program designed to help you succeed in your move to independence. Our experienced and knowledgeable Braxton Advisors team will work closely with you to help you understand what it means to go independent and guide you in evaluating your current practice and future goals to determine a business model that best aligns to you and your clients’ needs.

Which business model is the best fit?
There are a number of different business models suited for advisors going independent:

  • Starting your own professional firm.
  • Joining an established professional firm as an employee or perhaps with equity ownership.
  • Partnering with a third-party provider (in some professions often referred to as a consolidator) that brings together professional advisors looking for independence with access to the infrastructure and support needed to service clients.

Each choice has its own set of considerations, and our Braxton team will try to explain the differences and potential benefits of each.

Business Model Considerations

Start a Firm

  • Complete ownership of business with ability to build equity
  • Control fee structure, expenses, and branding
  • Willing to run the day-to-day aspects of your own firm

Join an Established RIA

  • Join as an employee or take a partnership stake
  • Consider that you will need to fully mesh with another firm’s culture and operating style
  • Autonomy and control varies based on relationship

Partner with a Third-Party Firm

  • Want independence, but want to outsource aspects of a practice
  • Partner with a firm such as a  consolidator
  • Access existing infrastructure and support

Different models offer different benefits
Our consultation process begins by discussing a range of factors that may affect your ultimate decision, such as your goals in becoming independent, practice profile, risk profile, desire for control and autonomy, and level of ownership.
For example, becoming an independent professional provides you with ownership of your firm and the ability to monetize your book of business to build equity for the future. Of course, it also means you have full responsibility for setting up the infrastructure, recruiting employees (if applicable), and overseeing day-to-day operations. You will have to
seriously ask yourself if you are suited to this type of situation.
On the other hand, partnering with a third-party or joining an established professional firm may offer a simpler transition in exchange for a fee or equity stake, especially if administrative services, compliance, office setup, and marketing support are provided. In addition, there may be an up-front payment available that can be helpful at the early stages of your move. Finding the right fit may take time, however, and there will be varying levels of autonomy depending on the particular organization you are reviewing.

If you help us understand your objectives and preferences, we can help guide your decision making so you can effectively evaluate the options and find the model that is right for you and your clients.
Let us help you develop a plan to make the move to independence
Once you have chosen your business model, an experienced Braxton representative will work with you through the transition process of going independent via the Braxton Transition Help program.
To learn more
For more information about our Business Model Consultation services, please contact a dedicated Braxton representative.

Please, note: For Professional use only. Not for distribution to the public as sales material in any form. The content provided here is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider.