Stock Exchange Listing Requirements

Major Exchanges

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ are the most reputable listed markets in the United States. The NYSE Archipelago Exchange (NYSE ARCA) and NYSE Markets (NYSE MKT) are popular alternative listed markets for companies that are not eligible to list directly on the NYSE. Corporations that are listed on these exchanges must follow a specific set of guidelines set forth by the SEC.

Major Exchange Listings


Listing Requirements


NASDAQ is an electronic exchange that is the second largest exchange by market capitalization in the world, only behind the NYSE.

NASDAQ listing requirements


NYSE is the largest exchange in the world by market capitalization and trades approximately at least five times more volume than any other exchange.

NYSE listing requirements


NYSE Arca operates a fully electronic communication network and exchange for both stocks, ETF and options. The exchange provides the largest offering of public ETFs.

NYSE ARCA listing requirements


NYSE MKT, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange, is the NYSE exchange designated for small-cap companies.

NYSE MKT listing requirements


IEX was designed to help protect investors by not allowing high-frequency traders to make unfair trades ahead of other investors.

IEX listing requirements

Over-the-Counter Marketplace

There are two markets that aren't considered listed exchanges: the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and OTC Markets. The OTCBB and OTC Markets list small and micro-cap companies that are publicly traded and classify the companies into eight separate tiers. The tiers are based on a company's dependability, SEC reporting status, constancy of market volume and share price as follows:

OTC Exchange Listings


Listing Requirements


Lists companies that meet high financial standards, are current in their SEC reporting, and are sponsored by a third-party advisor.

OTCQX listing requirements


Lists companies that are current with their reporting, adhere to annual management certifications, and meet bid price requirements.

OTCQB listing requirements


The OTCBB is not a preferred method of exchange anymore, but lists companies that are current with their SEC reporting.

OTCBB listing requirements.

OTC Pink

Lists companies in an open marketplace that offers a wide spectrum for trading through any broker. Further status designations within the OTC Pink can be seen below.

OTC Pink listing requirements

OTC Pink (Status Symbols)


OTC Pink
Current Information

Companies that provide current financial data, however, may be at some form of risk.

OTC Pink
Limited Information
(Yield Sign)

Companies who do not wish to provide up-to-date financial data. The previously disclosed financial data was disclosed within 180 days.

OTC Pink
No Information
(Stop Sign)

Companies that are at a greater risk as they also do not wish to provide up-to-date financial data. The previously disclosed financial data was disclosed more than 180 days prior.

Grey Market

Companies that are not currently traded on OTCQX, OTCQB or OTC pink marketplaces. Broker-dealers are not willing to publicly quote these securities because the company lacks public information, investor interest or regulatory compliance.

Caveat Emptor

Latin for buyer beware. has suspended quotes for the security because of a risk of litigation, suspensions, or previous public scrutiny.

Colonial can provide consultation services regarding stock exchanges for your company. Contact us to learn more.