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CBOT Membership

CBOT Exchange Membership has several types of exchange memberships available that significantly reduce the cost of trading futures products on the CBOT. The cost analysis table below will compare the difference between leasing and purchasing a CBOT seat.

Individual Membership:

Any individual, other than an employee of the association, who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and who satisfies the CBOT Membership Committee that he/she is suitable to assume the responsibilities and privileges of membership, is eligible to become a member.

Member Services Forms:

Forms are available online and in the Member Services Department of the CBOT at 141 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1101, Chicago, Illinois, 60604.

Application Filing and Processing Fees:

Each application filed must be accompanied by a check made payable to the Chicago Board of Trade. The fee is determined by various criteria, i.e., the type of membership being acquired, if the applicant will exercise trading privileges at the CBOE or CBOT and whether the membership will be purchased, transferred or leased. The processing fees range between $1,000 to $2,250. The staff can communicate the exact cost to you once they know the answers to the aforementioned criteria. The application may be typewritten or legibly handwritten.

Applications take a minimum of four to five days to process. This time period may be extended, depending upon the applicant’s background. This time period may or may not include the applicant completing necessary education requirements and registering with the National Futures Association (NFA). Applicants are either reviewed by the Membership Committee’s Chairman, Vice Chairman or are required to make a personal appearance before the Membership Committee. The staff in Member Services will advise applicants if an appearance before the Committee is necessary.

Cost Analysis:

The following table indicate the amount that would be saved each month compared to non-member fees based on the Average Daily Round Turns (ADRT’s) in the left column. The savings is net of the required CBOT seat lease costs at the rate of $103 per month.

(For simplicity purposes the E-mini Dow ($5) “YM” will be used in the examples that calculate savings.)

Avg. Daily R/T Lease Own
5 $59 $164
10 $193 $328
15 $327 $492
20 $461 $656
25 $595 $820
30 $729 $984
35 $863 $1,148
40 $997 $1,312
45 $1,131 $1,476
50 $1,265 $1,640
75 $1,935 $2,460
100 $2,605 $3,280
125 $3,275 $4,100
150 $3,945 $4,920
175 $4,615 $5,740
200 $5,285 $6,560
225 $5,955 $7,380

Purchase or Lease of an Exchange Membership:

Following the approval of an exchange membership application, an applicant is allowed six months to procure a membership privilege. A bid to purchase a membership may be submitted at any time, i.e., before an application for membership is submitted, while an application is being processed or after an application is approved. A lease agreement or transfer forms may be submitted once approval is secured.

An applicant may lease a CBOT membership by paying a monthly ‘rent’ to an owner of any particular membership. Applicants can find a member to lease from through Dorman Trading or a list of firms seeking lessees and lessors is available in Member Services or on the “Seat Price” page. If you have contact with a Chicago Board of Trade member and they are registered for this members-only website, they are able to print this list for you.

The market prices to purchase or lease memberships are available online.


Sponsors are not required, however, the Membership Committee reserves the right to request a sponsor. If required, the sponsor must be a B-1(Full) or B-2(AM) member who is a registered member, partner or officer of the applicant’s Primary Clearing Member (“PCM”). If the applicant will not trade, the sponsor may be a B-1 (Full) or B-2 (Associate) Member who has been acquainted with the applicant for at least 90 days.

Financial Statement:

All applicants are required to complete a brief financial statement, which includes personal assets, liabilities and net worth.

Posting Requirements and Personal Investigations:

The name of each applicant listed in the Exchange’s Bi-Monthly Letter to Members.

Exercising Trading Privileges on the Chicago Board Options Exchange:

Full Membership applicants are allowed the option of exercising trading privileges on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) rather than or in addition to the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) trading floor. There are application requirements to satisfy at each Exchange.

Primary Clearing Member Authorization:

Each applicant who plans to execute trades on the Exchange Floor or on the CBOT’s electronic trading system must designate a primary clearing member that will accept and clear the member’s trades. For those applicants who do not have an affiliation with a clearing member firm, a list can be provided by Member Services for assistance in contacting different firms.

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