Who must register as a lobbyist
Persons who lobby the Legislature or state regulatory agencies must register as lobbyists with the Ethics Commission if they:
(1) receive compensation for lobbying, or
(2) spend money on a public servant in furtherance of their lobbying activities.
Who may not register to lobby
The lobbyist provisions of the Ethics Act provide the following regarding registration of lobbyists:
W.Va. Code §6B-3-2. Registration of lobbyists.
(e) The following public officers or employees may not, during or up to one year after the termination of their public employment or service, be allowed to register as lobbyists:
(1) Members of the Legislature;
(2) Members of the Executive Department as referenced in article VII, section one of the Constitution of West Virginia;
(3) Will and pleasure professional employees of the legislature under the direct supervision of a member of the legislature;
(4) Will and pleasure professional employees of members of the Executive Department under the direct supervision of the Executive Department officer and who regularly, personally and substantially participates in a decision-making or advisory capacity regarding agency or department policy;
(5) Members of the Supreme Court of Appeals;
(6) Any department secretary of an executive branch department created by the provisions of section two, article one, chapter five-f of this code; and,
(7) Heads of any state departments or agencies.
Exemptions from registration
The following persons are exempt from registration and reporting unless they engage in activities that would otherwise require them to register as lobbyists.
(1) Persons who limit their lobbying activities to attending receptions, dinners, parties or other group functions and make no expenditures in connection with such activities.
(2) Persons who lobby without compensation or other consideration for acting as lobbyists and whose total expenditures in connection with such lobbying do not exceed $150 during any calendar year.
(3) Persons who limit their lobbying activities to appearing before public sessions of committees of the Legislature or public hearings of state agencies.
(4) Persons who lobby without compensation on behalf of a nonprofit organization and who restrict their lobbying activities to no more than 20 days, or parts thereof, during any regular session of the Legislature and make no expenditures.
When to register
Lobbyists may register at any time. Registration must be completed before lobbying begins. Lobbyist registration cycles consist of two-year periods, and all lobbyist registrations expire at the end of each even-numbered year.
Lobbyists may register by mail, email or in person at the Ethics Commission's office. Registration forms may be downloaded by clicking here or obtained from the Commission's office at 210 Brooks Street, Suite 300, Charleston, WV 25301.
A Lobbyist Directory containing photographs and contact information for all registered lobbyists, along with the identities of the employers they represent, is printed each January. The Directory is also available by clicking here.
Registration forms and fees
To register, the lobbyist must present:
- A completed WV Lobbyist Registration Statement;
- A completed signed WV Employer Representation/Authorization for each employer represented by the lobbyist;
- A registration fee of $100 per lobbyist plus an additional $100 per employer/organization represented. Fees are payable either by check, credit card or money order (NO CASH); and,
- A passport-type 2"x 2" photo submitted via U.S. mail or email. (The photo is for publication in the Lobbyist Directory.)
Lobbyists must file a separate WV Employer Representation/Authorization for each employer/organization represented. They also must pay a $100 fee for each employer or organization represented.
Incomplete or incorrect applications will be returned to the filer. Lobbying privileges will not be granted until an application is complete and correct.
Registration forms may be submitted via email, but not via fax machine.