IPCPR Legislative | Political Involvement in North Carolina

Political Involvement in North Carolina


Requirements for Political Involvement in North Carolina

A “lobbyist” is an individual who engages in lobbying for payment and meets any of the following criteria:

  • Represents another person or governmental unit, but is not directly employed by that person or governmental unit.
  • Contracts for payment for lobbying.
  • Is employed by a person and a significant part of that employee’s duties include lobbying. In no case shall an employee be considered a lobbyist if in no 30-day period less than 5% of that employee’s actual duties include engaging in lobbying.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 120C-100(a)(10)


“Lobby” or “lobbying” mean any of the following:

  • Influencing or attempting to influence legislative or executive action, or both, through direct communication or activities with a designated individual or that designated individual’s immediate family.
  • Developing goodwill through communications or activities, including the building of relationships, with a designated individual or that designated individual’s immediate family with the intention of influencing current or future legislative or executive action, or both.


The terms “lobby” or “lobbying” do not include communications or activities as part of a business, civic, religious, fraternal, personal, or commercial relationship that is not connected to legislative or executive action, or both.


N.C. Gen. Stat. § 120C-100(a)(9)


A “lobbyist principal” or “principal” is the person or governmental unit on whose behalf the lobbyist lobbies and who makes payment for the lobbying. In the case where a lobbyist is paid by a law firm, consulting firm, or other entity retained by a person or governmental unit for lobbying, the principal is the person or governmental unit whose interests the lobbyist represents in lobbying. In the case of a lobbyist employed or retained by an association or other organization, the lobbyist principal is the association or other organization, not the individual members of the association or other organization.


N.C. Gen. Stat. § 120C-100(a)(11)


“Reportable expenditure” includes any of the following that directly or indirectly is made to, at the request of, for the benefit of, or on behalf of a designated individual or that individual’s immediate family member:

  • Any advance, contribution, conveyance, deposit, distribution, payment, gift, retainer, fee, salary, honorarium, reimbursement, loan, pledge, or thing of value greater than $10 per designated individual per single calendar day.
  • A contract, agreement, promise, or other obligation whether or not legally enforceable.


N.C. Gen. Stat. § 120C-100(a)(12)

North Carolina law requires a lobbyist to file a separate registration statement for each principal the lobbyist represents with the Secretary of State before engaging in any lobbying. Lobbyists and principals must E-file their registration by using the Lobbying Compliance Division portal on the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State website. Registration expires on December 31st each year and must be renewed annually. The registration fee for lobbyists and principals is $250 (plus a $2 electronic fee). Lobbyist principals must also file a signed written authorization allowing the lobbyist to represent the principal within 20 business days after the lobbyist’s registration.


Lobbyists and principals must file two types of reports:

  • A monthly report, due within 10 business days after the end of the calendar month, when:
    1. The General Assembly is in session during the month
    2. The lobbyist or principal spent money on or gave something of value to:
      1. A legislator
      2. The legislator’s immediate family member, or
  • A legislative staff member
  • A quarterly report, due within 15 business days after the end of each quarter, for every quarter or portion of a quarter the lobbyist or principal is registered.


N.C. Gen. Stat. ch 120C


North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State: Register Online (Click “Register for 2015”)

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