Do I have an obligation to register as a lobbyist?

Three factors, when each is present, trigger a lobbyist’s obligation to register an engagement:*

  1. Compensation**: The lobbyist must receive compensation for conducting lobbying activity.
  2. Direct Communication: The lobbyist must directly communicate with a reportable person.
  3. Amount of Compensated Time Lobbying:
    • Legislative: 5% or more of the lobbyist’s time that is compensated by the employer must be spent conducting legislative lobbying activity
    • Executive: 25% or more of the lobbyist’s time that is compensated by the employer must be spent conducting executive agency lobbying activity.
    • Retirement: 25% or more of the lobbyist’s time that is compensated by the employer must be spent conducting retirement system lobbying activity.

* Please note – there is no ownership exception to Ohio’s lobbying registration requirements.  An individual who meets all three factors, regardless of whether they are an owner, an employee, or a contract lobbyist, must register the engagement.

 ** Compensation does not just include an individual’s “salary” or “retainer” but is defined in R.C. 101.70 as “a salary, gift, payment, benefit, subscription, loan, advance, reimbursement, or deposit of money or anything of value; or a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make compensation.

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 614-728-5100.  In addition, for more information please see p. 18, 29-30 of the Ohio Lobbying Handbook.