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Documenting complex and collaborative business processes is time-consuming and cost-intensive. Reference modeling offers compositional mechanisms which provide the ability to overcome such challenges by supporting component-oriented procedural structures. This paper describes a methodology for the domain-independent development of components, in the following called reference process building blocks (RPBBs), which can be used for distributed, i.e. asynchronous collaborative, modeling of complex and cross-departmental process structures. Initially, fundamental requirements and the structuring of RPBBs into activities and information objects are discussed. The RPBB generation procedure consisting of identification, evaluation and revision is then applied using the public sector as an example and the resulting RPBB catalogue is presented. Finally, formal and contentual evaluations are described which both confirm the applicability of the identified RPBBs for distributed modeling of complex, collaborative processes as well as the usability of the designed methodology.