ADVISORY OPINION 2007-1
A corporation creates a servicing corporation to handle its lobbying efforts. The servicing corporation has a separate tax identification number and has registered its corporate status with the Secretary of State. However, the servicing corporation has the same address as the corporation. Additionally, there is no formal retainer agreement between the corporation and the servicing corporation.
Does the corporation have to file a client annual report identifying the servicing corporation as its lobbyist? Does the servicing corporation register as a lobbyist and identify the corporation as a client?
Pursuant to Administrative Code Section 3-211(d), the term "organization" shall include "any corporation, company, foundation, association, labor organization, firm, partnership, society, or joint stock company". The servicing corporation constitutes an organization as defined by the statute. Further, Administrative Code Section 3-211(a) states that the term "lobbyist" shall mean "every person or organization retained, employed or designated by any client to engage in lobbying". Section 3-211(b) defines "client" as "every person or organization who retains, employs or designates any person or organization to carry on lobbying activities on behalf of such client". If the servicing corporation has been established to engage in lobbying for the corporation, the servicing corporation is the lobbyist of the corporation.
When a corporation creates an additional corporate entity for the purpose of lobbying on its behalf, the entity, in this instance the servicing corporation, must register as a lobbyist for the corporation pursuant to Administrative Code Section 3-213, and comply with all other requirements of the law relating to lobbyists. The corporation, in turn, must comply with all requirements of the law relating to clients, including the filing of an annual report pursuant to Administrative Code Section 3-217.