When it comes to owning a company, the day that you "go public" can be very exciting. After all, when you go public you are letting the world invest in your company -- helping your business grow. But before you bang the gavel to open trading at the New York Stock Exchange, or get listed on the Nasdaq, you must create a stock ticker symbol that represents your company.
Things You'll Need
- Application (varies by exchange)
- Fee (varies by exchange)
Think about what your company represents. When you create a stock symbol, you want the symbol to represent your company or the product that your company is known for in the marketplace. For instance, companies such as Apple or Microsoft have the ticker symbols AAPL and MSFT respectively. Having the ticker symbol closely represent the name of the company allows people to instantly identify with it.
Come up with some back-up solutions for your ticker symbol. Ultimately it is up the exchange to assign the ticker symbol to you. You can't duplicate a ticker symbol, and the exchange may shy away from a ticker symbol that is very similar to something else if it can be avoided.
Look-up your symbol on the various exchanges. Most exchanges provide a symbol look-up tool that allows you to check and make sure you are not going to request a symbol that is already listed (see Resources for link).
Fill out an application for the stock ticker symbol. Each exchange has its own process for obtaining a ticker symbol. The Nasdaq for instance, allows companies to reserve a ticker symbol up to 24 months before listing on the exchange. The Nasdaq also does not require a fee to process a ticker symbol request. For the NYSE, it suggests working with the sales listing representative you've been assigned to reserve a ticker symbol.