A futures broker is a person or organization who places buy and sell orders on behalf of clients for commodity options or futures contracts. The term is descriptive but generic. The National Futures Association has three specific types of futures brokers that it recognizes and licenses:
- A Floor Broker, which is a person who buys or sells futures contracts and options for others;
- An Introducing Broker, which is a person or organization who may place trade directions on behalf of others, but may not accept or hold funds to support the clients' trades;
- A Futures Commission Merchant, which is a person or organization that places trade directions on behalf of others, and accepts and holds funds that support the clients' trades.