February 15th is fast approaching, which means businesses that engage in lobbying in New Jersey should begin preparing their annual ELEC lobbying report. Any entity that spent at least $2,500 in 2018 on lobbying in New Jersey must electronically file a lobbying report. However, depending on your circumstances, you may be required to file one of four different reports.
Short-Form Disclosure (Form L-2) – If your business is represented by only one lobbyist, it may file a short-form disclosure that merely designates the lobbyist to file the annual report on behalf of your business. The lobbyist’s report would then cover all relevant information about the lobbying efforts of your business.
Full Disclosure (Form L1-L) - In contrast, if your business is represented by more than one lobbyist (either in-house or through an outside lobbying firm), then it must file its own lobbying form. As you prepare this form, you will need the following information for each of your lobbyists or lobbying firms:
- Lobbyist information;
- Lobbying purpose;
- Compensation of lobbyist (you may pro-rate a lobbyist’s compensation if they do not focus on lobbying for your business full-time);
- Prior government service of lobbyist; and
- Communications expenses.
Grassroots-Lobbying Disclosure (Form L1-G) - This form is geared specifically toward a business whose only lobbying activity is communicating with the general public, also known as grassroots lobbying. The information required to be disclosed on this form is focused on the relevant expenditures and communications of the business.
Consent to Service of Process (Form L-3) – If your business is an out-of-state entity that engages in New Jersey lobbying, it must consent to service of process within the State of New Jersey by filing this form. This form is required for any company that is not authorized to do business in New Jersey and for any individual who is not a resident of New Jersey.
In addition, lobbying firms must file their own specific forms to report their lobbying activity from the applicable calendar year. If your business has not yet determined its lobbying-disclosure obligations, there is still time to do so before the February 15 deadline.