What is OTC Markets Group?
OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates the OTCQX® Best Market, the OTCQB® Venture Market, and the Pink® Open Market for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. Through OTC LinkÂ® ATS, we connect a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services. We enable investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice and empower companies to improve the quality of information available for investors.
OTC Link ATS is operated by OTC Link LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and SEC regulated ATS.
Are you a stock exchange?
No. We operate an SEC-registered Alternative Trading System, OTC Link® ATS, that directly links a diverse network of leading U.S. broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services for a wide spectrum of U.S. and global securities.
How do you generate revenue?
We operate three lines of business that provide a variety of products and services to market participants.
Trading Services – Through OTC Link® ATS, our SEC-registered Alternative Trading System, we provide connectivity and communication to registered broker-dealers that improves the trading process. OTC Link® ATS enables subscribing broker-dealers to display prices, attract orders and conduct trade negotiations in OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.
Corporate Services – Trading on OTCQX, our Best Market, or OTCQB, our Venture Market, provides issuers the ability to distinguish themselves based on their financial standards, corporate governance and level of disclosure. OTCQX fills an important role for issuers that are not efficiently served by a U.S. stock exchange listing. OTCQX companies range from major international companies to small high-growth U.S. companies. OTCQB our Venture Market is for early-stage and developing U.S. and international companies that are not yet able to qualify for OTCQX. Trading on OTCQX and OTCQB provides issuers with enhanced visibility and access to our talented corporate services team. We also offer premium services to companies to help them distribute news and disclosure, facilitate stock price discovery and demonstrate compliance with U.S. securities laws.
Market Data Licensing – We distribute an extensive array of market data, security and corporate information on securities to broker-dealers, data vendors and investment professionals to aid investors. Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and other financial data providers offer our Level 1 and Level 2 market data directly on their platforms as an add-on service.
How do you differ from FINRA’s OTC Bulletin Board?
OTC Markets Group is a publicly-traded company that operates an SEC-registered Alternative Trading System for the electronic trading of OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities. The OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) is an electronic quotation service operated by FINRA and does not offer electronic trading capabilities. The OTCBB does not offer services to its quoted companies and limits quotations to SEC, bank- and insurance-reporting companies while OTC Markets Group offers electronic trading for all OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities on OTC Link® ATS.
Currently, 99% of all OTCBB-eligible securities are quoted on OTC Link® ATS.
What are the OTCQX®, OTCQB® and Pink® Markets?
The OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink Markets distinguish companies based on the quality and quantity of their disclosure.
Our OTCQX market offers transparent and efficient trading of established, investor-focused U.S. and global companies. To qualify for OTCQX, companies must meet high financial standards, follow best practice corporate governance, demonstrate compliance with U.S. securities laws, and have a professional third-party sponsor introduction. Penny stocks, shells and companies in bankruptcy cannot qualify for OTCQX. The companies found on OTCQX are distinguished by the integrity of their operations and diligence with which they convey their qualifications.
OTCQB is the Venture Market for early-stage and developing U.S. and international companies that are not yet able to qualify for OTCQX. To be eligible, companies must be current in their reporting and undergo an annual verification and management certification process. Companies must meet $0.01 bid test and may not be in bankruptcy.
Pink is the Open Market for broker-dealers to electronically trade all types of companies. With no minimum financial standards, this market includes foreign companies that limit distribution of their disclosure to their home market, penny stocks and shells, as well as distressed, delinquent, and dark companies not able or willing to provide adequate information to investors. Pink requires the least in terms of company disclosure and the most in terms of investor research and caution.
For more about our markets, click here.
For a full list of securities trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink markets, visit our Stock Screener.
How does a company get quoted on your Markets?
To become an OTCQX, OTCQB or Pink company, at least one market maker must quote the company's securities on OTC Link® ATS. Unlike a stock exchange, companies do not choose to “list” on the OTCQX, OTCQB or Pink markets. Instead, broker-dealers decide which unlisted securities to quote, usually based on investor demand.
A company begins trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB or Pink markets one of three ways:
- A broker-dealer files a Form 211 with FINRA to begin quoting the security on OTC Link® ATS. This method is generally used for companies that have no history of trading in the public markets or that begin trading again after a lapse in trading. See our Get Quoted page
- De-list from an exchange. When a security is delisted from an exchange, it may be available for immediate trading on OTC Link® ATS. See our FAQs for more information
- Reverse merger into a shell company already traded on the OTCQX, OTCQB or Pink Markets
Are there any requirements or fees for companies to get quoted on your Markets?
There are no requirements or fees for companies to trade on the Pink market and non-SEC reporting companies aren’t required to provide their financial information to OTC Markets Group, although many do on a voluntary basis via our OTC Disclosure and News Service. The OTCQB Market is for companies current in their reporting with the SEC or a bank or insurance regulator, but has no minimum financial requirements. There are minimum qualitative and financial standards and a fee to qualify for trading on the OTCQX Market. For more about OTCQX requirements and fees, click here: for U.S. companies and for International companies.
Issuers pay no fees to be quoted on our OTC Link® ATS. Broker-dealers pay a monthly fee to quote a security.
Does OTC Markets Group regulate the companies or trading activity on the OTCQX®, OTCQB® and Pink® Markets?
As OTC Markets Group is neither a stock exchange nor a self-regulatory organization (SRO), we do not have the authority to regulate the companies or the trading on our Markets. However, we have organized securities into three Markets to better inform investors about opportunities and risks: OTCQX®, the Best Market with established, investor-focused U.S. and global companies; OTCQB®, the Venture Market with early-stage and developing U.S. and international companies that are not yet able to qualify for OTCQX; and Pink®, the Open Market with foreign companies that limit distribution of their disclosure to their home market, penny stocks and shells, as well as distressed, delinquent, and dark companies not able or willing to provide adequate information to investors.
In addition, we identify securities with a Caveat Emptor (Skull and Crossbones) symbol when we believe they pose a public interest concern. The Caveat Emptor symbol is displayed in place of the Market identifier on all OTC Markets Group platforms and is distributed on market data feeds wherever OTC Markets Group quote data is available.
OTC Markets Group’s Caveat Emptor symbol has been adopted by investors and the compliance departments of many broker-dealers, clearing firms and other industry participants to aid in trading decisions and has been used by the SEC as justification for suspension of trading decisions. Click here for more about our Caveat Emptor policy.