In Virginia, a lobbyist is any individual who is employed in any manner or who is reimbursed for expenses, or who represents an organization, association or other group for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence executive or legislative action through oral or written communication with an executive or legislative official; this includes anyone who solicits others to influence an executive or legislative official.
State law defines “lobbying” as: 1. Influencing or attempting to influence executive or legislative action through oral or written communication with an executive or legislative official; or 2. Solicitation of others to influence an executive or legislative official. “Lobbying” does not mean: 1. Requests for appointments, information on the status of pending executive and legislative actions, or other ministerial contacts if there is no attempt to influence executive or legislative actions; 2. Responses to published notices soliciting public comment submitted to the public official designated in the notice to receive the responses; 3. The solicitation of an association by its members to influence legislative or executive action; or 4. Communications between an association and its members and communications between a principal and its lobbyists.
Virginia law requires registration with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to engaging in lobbying, unless a person satisfies one of the exemptions set forth in statute. Lobbyist registrations are required annually and expire April 30. Your lobbyist registration must be received and approved prior to engaging in lobbying activity. A lobbyist who engages in lobbying entirely outside the capital city must register with the Secretary within fifteen days after first engaging in lobbying. Registration is required annually and expires May 1 of each year.
In addition, Lobbyist disclosure forms are required to be filed semiannually by December 15 (to disclose activity from May 1 – October 31) and June 15 (to disclose activity from November 1 – April 30).
Va. Code § 2.2-418 et seq., Lobbyist Registration Act