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Expenditure Lobbyist Registration


How to Register

Expenditure lobbyists must register online with the Ethics Commission through its electronic filing system no later than five business days of qualifying as an expenditure lobbyist, and prior to making any additional payments to influence local legislation or administrative action. An expenditure lobbyist may opt to have a representative or firm register and file the reports on its behalf.

To register, expenditure lobbyists must file Registration Reports that disclose information about their business activities, City agencies that they have lobbied or may lobby, and the lobbying period (date ranges) for each City agency.

If an individual, the expenditure lobbyist must also provide a professional quality digital color photograph to be include in the Ethics Commission’s Expenditure Lobbyist directory. The photographs must include the full face and shoulders of each lobbyist, squarely facing the camera.

Registration Fee

Each expenditure lobbyist must pay a fee of $500 at the time of registration. After initial registration, expenditure lobbyists must pay $500 re-registration fee annually by February 1 to remain active. Failure to pay the annual fee by February 1 will automatically terminate an expenditure lobbyist’s registration with the Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission shall waive the $500 registration fee and the $500 annual re-registration fee for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that file or reasonably intend to file an IRS Form 990-EZ or IRS Form 990-N or otherwise demonstrate that their annual budget is $500,000 or less. The Ethics Commission will also waive the $500 registration fee and the $500 re-registration fee of a person who qualifies as an expenditure lobbyist if he or she is a full-time employee of a tax-exempt 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 nonprofit organization.

This fee may be paid on-line by using a debit or e-check, or by sending a check made payable to the “City and County of San Francisco” to: San Francisco Ethics Commission, ATT: Lobbyist Administrator, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Registration Amendments

Any changes to an expenditure lobbyist’s registration information, including contact information, the agencies lobbied or lobbying date ranges, must be reported within five calendar days of any changed circumstances, by filing an amended Registration Report. Expenditure lobbyists should NOT wait until their next monthly disclosure report to submit any changes.

Failure to timely amend a Registration Report may result in late fees of $50 per day.

Late Fees

Registration reports filed late are subject to a late fee of $50 per day.


A registered expenditure lobbyist may terminate registration and monthly reporting obligations by filing a final monthly statement, indicating the report is a termination statement. An expenditure lobbyist can only terminate after it ceases all expenditure lobbyist activity. The Ethics Commission will automatically terminate the registration of an expenditure lobbyist that fails to pay the annual registration fee by February 1.


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