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Last updated: 5/16/19

Lobbying in the City of Boston

Starting on April 16, 2019, lobbyists, lobbyist entities, and their clients must register with the City Clerk’s Office each year. They also need to file disclosure statements four times each calendar year.

The goal of this program is to promote good governance and transparency at the City of Boston. We plan to create a fair environment, where the same rules apply to everyone engaged in lobbying. To keep the trust of our citizens, we need to be able to give them access to information about those attempting to influence the City’s decisions.

Online lobbying registration

Have questions? Contact:

Lobbying fact sheet

We created a lobbying fact sheet to help you better understand the details and deadlines of this program.

Program history and requirements

History

The City of Boston’s lobbyist requirements took effect on April 16, 2019. These came as a result of a City ordinance that was:

  • passed by the Boston City Council on September 26, 2018, and
  • signed into law by Mayor Walsh on October 15, 2018.

The City Ordinance (Chapter 2-15.1) requires you to register with the City Clerk’s Office each year if you are a:

  • lobbyist
  • lobbyist entity, or
  • lobbying client.

You also must file disclosure statements four times each calendar year.

Requirements

In 2019, all lobbyists, lobbying entities, and clients must register starting on April 16. You’ll need to complete an online registration and acknowledge that you read and understood the lobbyist registration and regulations overview. Also in 2019, there will be two disclosure statement reporting requirements with:

  • a statement due on or before July 20, 2019, and
  • a statement due on or before October 20, 2019.

Please refer to the lobbyist registration and regulation overview for additional details on registration and reporting requirements.

Annual registration and fees

Annual registration

You have to register for the 2020 calendar year by December 15, 2019. You'll then register by December 15 each year for the upcoming calendar year. After January 1, 2020, if you establish yourself as a lobbyist, lobbyist entity, or client, you must register with the City Clerk within 10 days.

Annual Registration Fee
  • Lobbyists: $150
  • Lobbyist entities: $300
  • Lobbying clients: $150

If you stop activities as a lobbyist, lobbyist entity, or client, you need to file a Notice of Termination with the City Clerk.

Registration waiver

The City Clerk may waive the annual registration fee for:

  1. lobbyists or lobbying entities that exclusively represent not-for-profit clients
  2. lobbyists or lobbying entities that exclusively represent clients that employ fewer than 10 people and have been in business for fewer than five years, and
  3. clients that are not-for-profits or employ fewer than 10 people and have been in business for fewer than five years.

For waiver requests, we need to see proper documentation, including 501(c) (3) Certifications and Articles of Organization. Each lobbyist, lobbying entity, and client should make their request on behalf of themselves. Requests for lobbying entities should be made by someone with the authority to do so.

You can make a waiver request by sending an email to lobbying@boston.gov.