I am a Lobbyist or a Lobbyist Principal
Registration and Identification Requirements
- Before lobbying or within one business day of engaging in lobbying for payment, a lobbyist is required to file a registration statement with the Secretary of State. A lobbyist principal must also file a written authorization with the Secretary of State that authorizes a lobbyist to represent the principal within 20 business days after the date the lobbyist registers.
- Prior to lobbying a “designated individual” (public servants, legislators, and legislative employees), lobbyists must identify themselves and their principal.
Prohibitions and Restrictions
Lobbyists and/or lobbyist principals are prohibited from:
- Gift Ban. Giving a gift directly or indirectly to a designated individual, unless allowed by a gift ban exception.
- Contingency Fee Payment Prohibited. Accepting payment for lobbying services contingent upon the result or outcome of any legislative or executive action.
- Election Influence Prohibited. Attempting to influence an action of a designated individual with the promise or threat of financial support of, or in opposition to his or her candidacy.
- Lobbyist Campaign Activities. Lobbyists are also prohibited from making campaign contributions to members or candidates for the Council of State or General Assembly, “bundling” those contributions, and serving as a Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer for those members or candidates. Contact the State Board of Elections for further information.
- Quarterly Reportable Expenditure Report. A lobbyist is required to file a quarterly reportable expenditure report under oath with the Secretary of State for each lobbyist principal he or she represents. A lobbyist principal is also required to file a quarterly reportable expenditure report with the Secretary of State.
- Monthly Reportable Expenditure Report. In addition to the quarterly reports, a lobbyist or lobbyist principal that incurs reportable expenditures with respect to lobbying legislators and legislative employees in any month the General Assembly is in session must file a monthly reportable expenditure report.
- Listing of Expenditures. A lobbyist and a lobbyist principal is required to report each of the following on expenditure reports filed with the Secretary of State:
- Reportable expenditures made for lobbying;
- Solicitation of others when such solicitation has an aggregate cost greater than three thousand dollars ($3,000).
- Reportable expenditures for allowed gifts with a value of more than ten dollars ($10), except a lobbyist principal is required to report gifts given under the G.S. 138A-32(e)(10) exception with a value of more than $200.
- A lobbyist is also required to report reportable expenditures reimbursed to a lobbyist by the lobbyist principal. If not reported by the lobbyist, the lobbyist principal is required to report those reimbursed expenditures.
Annual Reporting of Payments for Lobbying and Lobbying Services
A lobbyist principal is also required to annually report:
- The cumulative combined total of all payments paid to a lobbyist for lobbying, direct and goodwill, and for certain communications or activities that were used to lobby, including research, drafting written communications, monitoring legislative or executive action, and advice regarding proposed or pending legislative or executive action.
- The name of persons who are not registered principals for whom the principal directs the lobbyist to lobby, whether for pay or not.
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