Lobbying by Corporations and Nonprofits: New Regulatory Developments, Disclosure Requirements, Impact of Tax Reform

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, September 28, 2018

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide corporate and general counsel on federal and state regulations applicable to businesses and nonprofits engaging in political activities and lobbying. The panel will discuss recent regulatory developments, disclosure requirements, implications of tax reform, gift rules, pay-to-play restrictions, special rules for nonprofits and other regulatory challenges, and best practices in representing clients engaging in political activities and lobbying.


Recent lobbying efforts by corporations and nonprofits on both federal and state levels has caused an increase in scrutiny from government regulators regarding such activities. New regulatory changes provide higher standards for disclosures, gifting, and additional restrictions that must be adhered to by any organization engaging in lobbying or political activities.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires individuals and entities representing foreign interests to register with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and disclose their lobbying activities. An exemption from registration under FARA is allowed for certain individuals registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA).

The LDA applies to private sector companies and their subsidiaries with strict rules and requirements that can result in penalties for noncompliance. Also, companies and nonprofits engaging in lobbying activities must adhere to state regulations, gifting rules, and pay-to-play restrictions.

The California State Legislature passed the DISCLOSE Act, requiring the disclosure of an ad’s top donors, special rules for disclosures on social media, websites and other forms of electronic communications, and the disclosure of the source of earmarked donations. Also, political committees may have to disclose contributions or independent expenditures that support or oppose a single local ballot initiative or referendum.

On Apr. 24, 2018, the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted to enact new lobbying regulations, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The new regulations provide comprehensive rules regarding the identification of those lobbied, the disclosure of beneficial clients, source of funding, the impermissibility of equity compensation, and other key provisions.

Counsel must be knowledgeable of federal and state regulations on lobbying activities to ensure compliance with all registration and reporting requirements. Also, counsel must be able to properly advise clients on planning in light of tax reform, which has removed the deductibility of costs associated with direct local legislative lobbying as a business expense.

Listen as our panel discusses the recent regulatory developments, registration and reporting requirements, gift rules, pay-to-play restrictions, special rules for nonprofits, and best practices to avoid noncompliance penalties.



  1. Lobbying vs. permissible, unregulated advocacy activities
  2. Federal rules and regulations for direct lobbying activities; reporting and registration
    1. Trump executive order
    2. Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)
    3. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
    4. The proposed Disclosing Foreign Influence Act
  3. Impact of tax reform on lobbying activities
  4. Notable recent state guidance in this area
    1. California’s DISCLOSE Act and other regulations
    2. New York’s new lobbying regulations
    3. Other notable state regulatory developments
  5. Special rules for nonprofit organizations
  6. Best practices for counsel representing clients engaging in lobbying or political activities


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What constitutes regulated lobbying?
  • Permissible advocacy before administrative agencies vs. controlled lobbying of lawmakers or efforts to influence elections
  • Applicability, requirements, and exemptions under FARA and LDA
  • Special lobbying rules for 501(c) organizations
  • Registration and reporting: What is involved, how often reports must be filed, what penalties can ensue for a compliance misstep
  • California’s DISCLOSE Act
  • New York’s recent lobbying regulations and challenges
  • Impact of tax reform on local lobbying activities
  • Best practices in representing clients engaging in lobbying and political activities


Hong, Ki
Ki P. Hong

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Mr. Hong is the head of Skadden’s Political Law Group. He advises major corporations on the unique political law...  |  Read More

Laurenza, Melissa
Melissa L. Laurenza

Akin Gump Struass Hauer & Feld

Ms. Laurenza’s practice concentrates on federal and state campaign law, lobbyist registration provisions, gift...  |  Read More

Miles, Melissa
Melissa L. Miles

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Ms. Miles advises clients on matters relating to government affairs at the federal, state and local levels. Having...  |  Read More

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