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Lobbying Firms

This Frequently Asked Questions page contains answers to many of the questions that the Ethics Commission has received regarding Lobbying Firms. For more information concerning the Lobbying Ordinance, please visit the Lobbyist portion of our website or refer to our lobbying-related Fact Sheets.

How specific should I be when identifying municipal decisions on my Registration Form?

If you believe that you will be lobbying for your client on only one matter, you should be as specific as possible. This way, you will not need to add additional information when reporting the matter on your Quarterly Disclosure Report. On the other hand, if you anticipate lobbying for your client on multiple matters, you may want to use a more general description on the Registration Form; if you lobby on a new matter that does not fit within the description on your Registration Form, you will have to amend the form within 10 days.

One of my firm's clients accompanied me to many of the meetings I had with City Officials. Do I need to report my client as a lobbyist on my disclosure reports?

No, You only need to report the lobbying performed by lobbyists in your firm. If the client is being compensated for these lobbying contacts and has had 10 or more of them, his or her employer will have to register as an Organization Lobbyist and independently report those lobbying contacts.

My firm represents an association that has 50 members. Do I need to disclose all 50 members as "clients" on my firm’s Registration Form?

You do not need to disclose the name of an individual member on the Registration Form unless that member paid $1,000 or more for lobbying on a specific municipal decision. Under the Lobbying Ordinance’s "coalition" rule, membership fees or dues will not count towards the $1,000 threshold unless it is clear that the member paid, or agreed to pay, some or all of those fees or dues for lobbying on a specific municipal decision.

I did not disclose a client on my Registration Form because I wasn’t lobbying the City on its behalf. Months later, I now find that I will be lobbying the City for that client. What should I do?

You must amend your Registration Form within 10 days of assuming the new duties for this client. Fill out a new Registration Form, check the box on the cover sheet for "amendment," and report the required information regarding this client on Schedule B.

I did not lobby for one of my clients during the quarter. Does my firm still need to report that client on its quarterly report?

Yes. Every client listed on your firm's Registration Form must be reported in the quarterly report on either Schedule A-1 or A-2. Because your firm did not lobby on behalf of this client during the quarter, report the client on Schedule A-2.