Skip to main content
Most King County offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017, for Martin Luther King Day.  
King County logo

King County code requires lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and grassroots organizations who lobby the county to influence legislation to register and provide quarterly reports. The code is intended to promote full disclosure of lobbying in order to protect the openness and integrity of the legislative process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Per King County Code, Chapter 1.07, lobbying is defined as "attempting to influence, by communicating with councilmembers or council staff, the Metropolitan King County Council to develop, adopt, modify or reject legislation, or attempt to influence, by communicating with the executive or executive staff, the King County executive to approve or veto adopted legislation, or part thereof, presented to him or her."

Communications or other actions:

  • with the members of an association or organization by that same association or organization;
  • made by a person related to quasi-judicial proceeding before the council,
  • made by a person related to proposed motions to confirm or reject appointments by the executive,
  • made by a person related to proposed motions to exercise the councils power of appointment or removal,
  • related to proposed employment actions concerning legislative branch employees;
  • by any county employee acting within the scope of his/her employment
  • by representatives of labor organizations related to existing or proposed collective bargaining agreement(s) with the county or other legislation which could affect specific existing or proposed collective bargaining agreements; or
  • by a person with the executive or executive staff regarding legislation at any time prior to its adoption by the council.

Anyone who lobbies for compensation is required to file, unless exempted by ordinance.

The following are exempt from filing by county ordinance:

  • Citizen lobbyists Persons who lobby without compensation or with compensation or other consideration limited to reimbursement for minor incidental personal expenses, such as mileage, parking, meals, photocopying, telephone, and facsimile (fax).

  • Technical experts Employees of a business, or contracted experts who meet on an irregular basis (less than six times per quarter) with councilmembers or the executive or appear before public sessions of the council or its committees to provide expert testimony.

  • Government officials, officers, and employees Elected officials, officers, and employees of any local, state, or federal government agency acting within the scope of their representation of or employment with such agency are not required to register or report unless they are specifically retained by a government agency to lobby.

  • Media persons News or feature reporting activities and editorial comment by working members of the press, radio, or television and the publication or dissemination thereof by a newspaper, book publisher, regularly published periodical, radio station, or television station.

Lobbyists Each lobbyist (any person who lobbies for compensation) must file a Lobbyist Registration (Form L1) statement for each employer within seven days after being employed or otherwise being retained as a lobbyist. Citizen lobbyists, technical experts, media personnel and government officials (plus their officers and employees) are exempt from filing a lobbyist registration statement. Lobbyists are also required to prepare a Lobbyist Quarterly Expense Report (Form L2-1) for the first three quarters of the year, due April 15, July 15, and October 15 respectively, and a Lobbyist January Expense Report (Form L2-2), due January 15, which covers total expenditures for the preceding calendar year.

Lobbyist employers Employers of registered lobbyists are also required to report their total annual expenditures for lobbying by either filing a Lobbyist Employer's Report of Registered Lobbyists and Expenses (Form L3), due the last day of February for the prior year, or by signing each of their employee's Lobbyist January Expense Report.

Grassroots lobbyists Professional grassroots lobbyists need to register by filing Professional Grassroots Lobbying Campaign Report(s) (Form L4). A Professional Grassroots Lobbyist is defined as a person or group that spends, or knows they will spend, in excess of $10,000 within 12 consecutive months presenting a program addressed to the public to influence legislation that may be the subject of action by the council.

Form L1 (Lobbyist Registration) must be filed by anyone who lobbies for compensation within seven days of being employed.

Form L2-1 (Lobbyist Quarterly Expense Report) must be filed by anyone who lobbies for compensation by April 15, July 15, and October 15 of each calendar year.

Form L2-2 (Lobbyist January Expense Report) must be filed by anyone who lobbies for compensation by January 15 each calendar year.

Form L3 (Lobbyist Employer's Report of Registered Lobbyists and Expenses) must be filed by employers of registered lobbyists by the last day of February each calendar year.

Form L4 (Professional Grassroots Lobbying Campaign Report) must be filed by a person or group that spends, or knows they will spend, in excess of $10,000 within twelve (12) consecutive months presenting a program addressed to the public to influence legislation that may be the subject of action by the council. This form must be filed as soon as the person or group spends or knows they will spend $10,000 within twelve (12) consecutive months.

It is a violation of King County code for an employer to compensate a lobbyist who is not registered with King County except upon condition that the employee register as a lobbyist within seven days. Failure to register will result in a written warning for the first offense and fines for subsequent offenses.

Except for allegations of untimely filing of statements and reports, which are processed by the Department of Executive Services, complaints alleging a violation of any provision of the lobbyist disclosure code should be filed with the King County Ombudsman.

Only written complaints, describing the basis for the complainant's belief that the code has been violated, verified and signed by the complainant will be accepted. The complainant may state in the written complaint whether the complainant desires their name be withheld from disclosure if the complaint is the subject to public disclosure.

Lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and professional grassroots lobbyists are required to file registration and expense reports by completing and forwarding a signed original copy of each required form, prior to required deadlines, via mail to:

Department of Executive Services
Lobbyist Registration Program
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 215
Seattle, WA 98104

Forms may also be dropped off in person at the same address above.

Please note: original signatures are required on all documents, therefore electronic copies of forms cannot be accepted at this time.

A list of currently registered lobbyists and lobbyist employers is available on our website.

Electronic copies of King County Code Chapter 1.07 are available on our website. Copies are also available at:

Department of Executive Services
Lobbyist Registration Program
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 215
Seattle, WA 98104

Contact Us

206-263-9753

TTY Relay 711

Fax 206-296-4329