Purchasing an Existing Accredited Travel Agency

There are basically two ways of applying for approval for a transfer of ownership of an agency that is already ARC accredited. Submit the application that best fits your situation.

Transfer of shares in an existing accredited corporation or LLC (Type II)Formation of a new business entity (Type V)
Overview New owners are being added, but the business entity remains unchanged.
  • Corporation: 30% or more of its shares will be transferred to new shareholders
  • LLC: New members are added to an existing
Note: Only certain LLCs are eligible for this type of ownership change. Please see Attachment G, section II.B.1-3 of the Agent Reporting Agreement or contact ARC's Accreditation Department for details.
Change in the business entity type and owners.
Examples
  1. Shareholder A owns 100% of shares and whishes to sell all shares to the existing accredited agent B, a new owner.
  2. Three shareholders A, B, and C, own 40%, 40%, and 20%, respectively, of the shares of an existing accredited agency. Shares are transferred such that shareholder A owns 50% and a new shareholder D acquires 50%.
  1. Sole Proprietorship A is being sold by the proprietor to three new owners who have formed Corporation B.
  2. Corporation A is being sold to Corporation B. The four owners of Corporation A are withdrawing from business and there are three new owners of Corporation B.
  3. Partnership A is being changed to new Partnership B. One of the partners in Partnership A is withdrawing and two new partners are added to Partnership B.
  4. Corporation A is selling a branch location to a sole proprietor who will establish Sole Proprietorship B as an independent agency location.
Application Fee $900 $2000

Requirements

To maintain its accreditation, the agency must meet the following requirements following the ownership change.

  • Be located in and authorized to do business in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.
  • Maintain a bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit in an amount equal to the current bondable amount with ARC or at the minimum amount of $20,000.
  • Meet the personnel standards of Section IV B of the Agent Reporting Agreement, including the following:
    1. One person who is a full-time employee of the agent at the place of business, who exercises daily supervision of, and responsibility for, the operations of that agency location and has the authority to make management decisions.
    2. One person who has completed and passed the ARC Specialist exam and will represent the agency as the ARC Specialist Qualifier.
    Note: The management qualifier and the ARC Specialist Qualifier may be the same person.
  • Must meet the ticketing security standards of Attachment B of the Agent Reporting Agreement.

What to expect after applying

  1. Once the application is received, we review for completeness and compliance with the requirements of the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA). The initial review process typically occurs within ten days of ARC receiving the application.
  2. After this comprehensive review, an ARC representative may call you to discuss your application.
  3. We also send a follow-up letter confirming the status of your application and advising you of any needed additional information.
  4. Upon receipt of the required documentation, ARC will conduct an on-site inspection.
  5. ARC's Accreditation staff will review the application, additional information and documentation, as well as the results of the on-site inspection. ARC will then make a final decision based on the review.

Ownership Change Application FAQs

Yes, all transfers to new owners must be approved in advance by ARC.

Yes, a location change application may be processed along with an ownership change application. Please include a Change of Location document with your application.

Transfer of shares in an existing accredited corporation or LLC (Type II and V):
The financial guarantee must be increased to at least 20k or the agency's current bondable, whichever is greater.

Formation of a new business entity (Type V):
A new $20,000 financial guarantee must be provided in the name of the new owning entity.