About Lobbying In Wisconsin
2021-2022 Legislative Session
Please see the official memo with tips and reminders about lobbying registration here.
Registration and Licensing
When do you need to be licensed as a lobbyist and authorized by a lobbying principal?
If an individual’s duties on behalf of the principal are exclusively limited to attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, the individual must be registered as a lobbyist and authorized to lobby on behalf of that principal prior to engaging in any lobbying communication. For these individuals, lobbying communication is not allowed before authorization.
If an individual’s duties are not exclusively limited to attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, the individual must be registered as a lobbyist and authorized to lobby on behalf of that principal prior to her or his fifth day of lobbying communication. For these individuals, lobbying communication is permitted on four separate days before being required to obtain a lobbyist license and authorization from a principal.
There are two types of lobbyist licenses. For a lobbyist who works on behalf of only one principal, the license fee is $250 (a “single license”). For a lobbyist with more than one client, the license fee is $400 (a “multiple license”).
If you are a veteran you may qualify to receive a free lobbyist license. For information on the Veterans Professional/Occupational Licensure Fee Waiver Program, please click here.
An organization employing a lobbyist for compensation in Wisconsin must do four things:
- license its lobbyist(s)
- register the lobbying principal
- authorize its lobbyist(s)
- pay all applicable fees
Registration is not complete until all four steps have been completed and all required fee payments have been made.
There are also two types of principal registrations. An organization intending to spend less than $500 in a calendar year on lobbying expenses may register as a “limited lobbying principal” for a fee of $20. All other organizations register as full lobbying principals for a fee of $385.
NOTE: Lobbyists representing limiting lobbying principals are governed by the same statutes as lobbyists of full lobbying principals.
Every lobbyist must be authorized to lobby on behalf of each principal they represent.
Licensing, registration and authorizations are valid from the date fees are paid through the remainder of the legislative session, unless otherwise revoked.
Pay for pending registrations, licenses, authorizations, and FOCUS subscriptions.
Lobbying Fee Schedule
|Lobbyist license (single)||$250|
|Lobbyist license (multiple)||$400|
|Lobbyist authorization||$135 per lobbyist|
|Limited principal registration (spending less than $500 in a calendar year on lobbying)||$20|
|FOCUS subscription (optional)|
$100 per email address
Note: 15-day reporting by registered principals is required under Wis. Stats. 13.67(1).
Please choose this menu option to complete one of the following tasks:
- Submit a notification of a lobbying matter within 15 days of communication on a bill, budget subject, administrative rule-making proceeding, or a topic that has not been given a bill or rule number yet.
- Amend a notification of a lobbying matter on a bill, budget subject, administrative rule-making proceeding, or topic that has not been given a bill or rule number yet
Record and track the time spent lobbying and performing lobbying-related activities.
Complete and submit the 6-month Statement of Lobbying Activities & Expenditures report, which is due biannually on January 31 (covering the prior July 1 - December 31 period) and July 31 (covering the prior January 1 - June 30 period). In the event of the due date falling on a weekend or holiday, reports will be due the next business day.