What is the difference between a "publicly traded" corporation and a "publicly held" corporation?

Publicly held corporations are a subset of publicly traded corporations.

  • Publicly Held” corporations are corporations with shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), or the NYSE American (formerly known as the American Stock Exchange or AMEX).
  • Publicly Traded” corporations are corporations with securities listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSE American, the OTC Bulletin Board, or on the electronic service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc.
Market / Exchange Publicly Held Corporations Publicly Traded Corporations
NYSE
NASDAQ
NYSE American
OTC Markets Group Inc.  
OTC Bulletin Board  

Which corporations are required to comply with the Women on Boards and Directors from Underrepresented Communities on Boards requirements?

The minimum requirements for female directors and directors from underrepresented communities apply to all publicly held California and foreign corporations. A publicly held corporation can report compliance with the statutory requirements through its annual Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement filed with the California Secretary of State.

Corporations that are publicly traded but are not publicly held are not required to meet the minimum board diversity requirements. However, publicly traded corporations still are required to file an annual Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement and may voluntarily disclose information regarding board diversity.

flowchart of criteria in determining which corporations are required to have women on boards.

How does the Secretary of State determine compliance with Women on Boards and Directors from Underrepresented Communities on Boards?

Compliance is determined from publicly held corporations reporting compliance through their annual Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement filed with the California Secretary of State.

Can a director satisfy both the Women on Boards requirement and Directors from Underrepresented Communities on Boards requirement?

A single director who self-identifies as both female and from an underrepresented community, each as defined by statute, can satisfy both Women on Boards and Underrepresented Communities on Boards statutory requirements.

Which corporations are required to file the Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement?

A corporation with securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), the NYSE American, (formerly known as the American Stock Exchange or AMEX), the OTC Bulletin Board, or on the electronic service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. is a “publicly traded” corporation and is required to file a new Statement annually with the Secretary of State within 150 days of the end of its fiscal year. (Corporations Code sections 1502.1 and 2117.1.)

How do I find more information about the corporations listed in the Secretary of State reports?

The Secretary of State reports are generated from data provided by publicly traded corporations in two separate annual disclosure filings:

  • Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement: a corporation’s California filing with the Secretary of State’s office, available to the public for free on the Secretary of State's website through the Business Search. Also, an abstract of the information contained in the filed Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statements is available on the Secretary of State's website in a searchable database through the Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Search.
  • SEC Form 10-K: a corporation’s federal filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), available to the public for free through the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (EDGAR) Company Filings Search.

For information on ordering copies of official California business entity records for a particular corporation, please refer to the Information Requests webpage.

Are all foreign corporations required to register with the California Secretary of State?

All foreign corporations transacting intrastate business in California are required to register with the Secretary of State prior to conducting business. (Corporations Code section 2105.) Foreign corporations wishing to register can complete a Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation and submit the completed form, including the required certificate of good standing from their home jurisdiction, along with the applicable fees, to the Secretary of State's office. This form may be submitted for filing online through the Secretary of State’s new eFile Online tool. Instructions for submitting are included with the online form.

How does a corporation file a Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement?

The Publicly Traded Corporate Disclosure Statement form, including instructions for completing the form, is available on the Secretary of State’s website at https://bpd.cdn.sos.ca.gov/corp/pdf/so/siptsupp.pdf or through our bizfile California portal at https://www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/bizfile Once completed, this form may be submitted for filing online through the Secretary of State’s eFile Online tool. Instructions for submitting are included with the online form.