Lobbying entities who incur $2,500 in lobbying activity in a quarterly filing period, must file electronically or online for that quarter and all subsequent quarterly filing periods (regardless of the level of activity). Lobbying entities subject to this electronic filing obligation include: a) lobbying firms; b) lobbyist employers; c) lobbyists; d) lobbying coalitions; and e) all other persons who spend $2,500 or more to influence legislative or state agency administrative action. For further information read our FAQ concerning electronic filing.
Lobbying firms and lobbyist employers register with the Office of the Secretary of State. Lobbyists do not independently register apart from their affiliated firm or employer. Rather, lobbyists supply a certification statement to be included with their own firm's or employer's registration.
Lobbying firms and lobbyist employers file quarterly lobbying disclosure statements with the Office of the Secretary of State, using prescribed forms by required deadlines. Lobbyists do not independently file disclosure statements. Rather, lobbyists must supply a completed lobbyist report, within two weeks following the end of each quarter, to be included with their own firm's or employer's quarterly disclosure statements.
A filer is responsible for filing statements or reports on time. Late filing impedes the public’s access to campaign finance and lobbying information. A main purpose of the Political Reform Act is to obtain filing of the campaign and lobbying disclosure statements required by statute. To encourage timely filing, the Act imposes $10 per day liability for late filing of statements or reports. (See Government Code section 91013.)
To see a list of filers who have been assessed a liability, review our Outstanding Fines for Late Filings.
A request for waiver of liability must be submitted on a Form PRD-1 (PDF). The Secretary of State will consider a request to waive liability for late filing fines when we can conclude both that the late filing was not willful and that imposing the liability will not further the purposes of the Political Reform Act. (See Government Code section 91013.) This form must be filed under penalty of perjury within 30 days of receiving a liability notification.
For more information, review our Guidelines for Waiver of Liability of Late Filing Fines.