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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Lobbying?

Lobbying refers to the act of attempting to influence decisions made by government officials or other public policymakers on behalf of a group or organization. This can involve a variety of tactics, such as providing information, making arguments, or engaging in direct communication with policymakers.

Lobbyists are hired by interest groups, corporations, or other organizations to represent their views and promote their interests to legislators, particularly members of congress, and other members of congress. 

Lobbying is a legal and common practice in the United States, but it has also been subject to criticism for its potential to create conflicts of interest and undermine the democratic process. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires lobbyists to register with the government and report their activities and expenditures, but there is ongoing debate over the adequacy of these disclosure requirements.

Why is it legal?

Lobbying is legal in the United States because it is considered a form of protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, which includes the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Lobbying is viewed as a legitimate means for individuals, organizations, and groups to exercise this right by expressing their views and advocating for policies and issues that are important to them.
In addition, lobbying can be a valuable source of information for elected officials who may not have expertise in a particular area or who need to understand the potential impact of a proposed policy on various stakeholders. Lobbyists can provide lawmakers with research, analysis, and other resources to help them make informed decisions.

Increasing transparency

Compiled, Comprehensive Lobbying Information

LobbyingData.com is a comprehensive database that provides detailed information on lobbying activities across the United States, including data on lobbying firms, lobbyists, and the issues they are advocating on. By using LobbyingData.com, users can access detailed information on who is lobbying, what issues they are advocating for, and how much money is being spent on lobbying activities.

Our data makes it easy to see, both on a real-time and 24 year historical basis:

  • Every entity that has ever lobbied the federal government.
  • The dollar amount they spend on it
  • The names and prior government experience of the exact lobbyists they hired
  • And most importantly, why: the exact bills and specific issues lobbied on


Lobbying Contracts


Lobbying Entities Tracked


Years of History


Federal Lobbying Coverage

A beautiful photo of the United States capitol building in spring, at LobbyingData.com

Lobbying Regulation

The Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)

The Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1995 to promote transparency and accountability in lobbying activities. The LDA requires lobbyists and lobbying firms to register with the government and file regular reports on their lobbying activities, including information about who they are lobbying for and what issues they are advocating on.
The LDA had a significant impact on the lobbying industry, as it increased the amount of information available to the public about lobbying activities. Lobbyists and lobbying firms are now required to disclose details about their activities, such as the names of their clients, the issues they are advocating on, and the amount of money they are being paid. This has helped promote transparency and accountability in the lobbying industry, allowing the public to better understand who is trying to influence policy decisions and how.
The LDA has also had an impact on lobbying firms and lobbyists themselves. Lobbying firms are required to have policies in place to ensure compliance with the law, and lobbyists are required to disclose any prior government experience they may have. Additionally, the LDA has established strict rules about gifts and travel expenses that can be given to government officials, in order to prevent conflicts of interest.
Overall, the Lobbying Disclosure Act has helped to increase transparency and accountability in the lobbying industry, while also establishing rules and regulations to promote ethical behavior among lobbyists and lobbying firms. By providing detailed information on lobbying activities, databases like LobbyingData.com can help promote transparency and accountability in the political process.

LobbyingData.com Coverage

The leading provider of lobbying information

We’re the leading source of comprehensive and advanced lobbying information available. We leverage advanced data science techniques to transform complex government information on lobbying into user-friendly, adaptable datasets. With our data, Researchers can easily perform analysis by company, lobbyist, lobbying firm, government agency, or issue using our intelligently designed and curated data quality.

Our database is an essential resource for anyone interested in understanding the role of lobbying in American politics, and is a valuable tool for researchers, journalists, investors, and anyone else seeking to understand the political landscape.

Real-Time & Historical Lobbying Data

Our database and datasets are designed to be adaptable to our customers’ needs and preferences.

Custom Lobbying Industry Research

We provide custom research on the lobbying industry – on the client, lobbyist, or lobbying firm level.

Lobbying in general

Learn more about lobbying in general

Lobbying can take many different forms, including:

  1. Direct lobbying: This involves direct communication with government officials, such as meeting with a member of Congress or their staff to discuss a particular issue or piece of legislation.
  2. Grassroots lobbying: This involves mobilizing constituents or members of the public to contact their elected representatives in support of a particular issue or policy.
  3. Political contributions: Lobbyists may make political contributions to elected officials or political campaigns in order to gain access or influence.
  4. Research and analysis: Lobbyists may conduct research and analysis on particular issues or policies in order to provide legislators with information that supports their positions.
  5. Media campaigns: Lobbyists may use media campaigns, such as advertising or social media, to influence public opinion and pressure elected officials to support their positions.
Advocacy generally refers to any effort to promote a particular cause or policy position, while lobbying specifically involves efforts to influence government officials or policymakers. LobbyingData.com can help users distinguish between advocacy and lobbying activities by providing information on the specific bills and issues being lobbied on, as well as the dollar amount spent on lobbying efforts.
Lobbyists are individuals or firms that engage in lobbying activities on behalf of clients such as corporations, trade associations, or nonprofit organizations. LobbyingData.com provides detailed information on lobbyists, including their names and prior government experience. By using LobbyingData.com, users can identify the exact lobbyists who are advocating on specific issues or bills and gain insight into their expertise and experience.
Lobbyists influence public policy in a variety of ways, such as by providing policymakers with information and data, building relationships with key decision-makers, organizing grassroots campaigns to mobilize public support, or making campaign contributions to elected officials. LobbyingData.com provides information on the specific tactics being used by lobbyists, as well as the dollar amount spent on these activities.
The Lobbying Disclosure Act is a federal law that requires lobbyists to register with the government and disclose certain information about their activities, such as who they are lobbying for and what issues they are advocating on. LobbyingData.com provides comprehensive data on lobbying disclosures, allowing users to gain insight into the activities of federally registered lobbyists.
Lobbying disclosure refers to the process of reporting lobbying activities to the government. Lobbyists and lobbying firms are required to register with the government and file regular reports on their lobbying activities, including information about who they are lobbying for, what issues they are advocating on, and how much they are being paid.
There are a variety of sources for information on lobbying activities, including government websites, news organizations, and specialized databases like LobbyingData.com. These sources can provide information on who is lobbying, what issues they are advocating on, and how much money is being spent on lobbying activities.

Lobbying can provide various benefits for individuals, organizations, and businesses. Some of the main benefits of lobbying include:

  1. Influence on public policy: Lobbying can provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations to influence the development and implementation of public policies. By lobbying lawmakers and other government officials, lobbyists can provide insights and perspectives that may not have been considered otherwise, leading to the creation of policies that better reflect the needs and interests of those they represent.
  2. Access to decision-makers: Lobbyists often have access to decision-makers that ordinary citizens or organizations may not have. This can be particularly valuable when seeking to influence policy or regulations that may impact their business or industry.
  3. Information gathering: Lobbyists can also serve as a valuable source of information for lawmakers and government officials. By providing research and data on specific issues or industries, lobbyists can help policymakers make more informed decisions.
  4. Networking opportunities: Lobbying can also provide opportunities for individuals and organizations to network with other like-minded individuals or businesses. This can help to build relationships and coalitions that can be used to advance shared goals and objectives.
The lobbying laws in each country vary, but typically regulate activities such as lobbying disclosure, reporting requirements, and limitations on lobbying activities. In the United States, for example, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) requires lobbyists to register with the government and disclose certain information about their lobbying activities, including the issues they are lobbying on and the amount of money they spend on lobbying. Other countries, such as Canada and Australia, also have lobbying disclosure laws in place.
There are many different types of lobbying groups, including trade associations, professional associations, advocacy groups, and grassroots organizations. Trade associations represent specific industries, while professional associations represent specific professions. Advocacy groups typically represent a specific cause or issue, such as environmental protection or civil rights. Grassroots organizations are typically made up of individuals who come together to advocate for a specific cause or issue.
Lobbying can raise ethical concerns, particularly when it involves efforts to influence government decisions or policy on behalf of a particular interest group or organization. Some ethical considerations include transparency and disclosure of lobbying activities, avoiding conflicts of interest, and ensuring that lobbying efforts do not undermine the democratic process or unfairly influence government decision-making.

Transparency in lobbying can be improved in several ways. One way is to increase the amount of information that is publicly available about lobbying activities. For example, by requiring lobbyists and lobbying firms to disclose more detailed information about their activities, such as the specific bills and issues they are advocating for, and the dollar amount they are spending on lobbying efforts.

LobbyingData.com is an essential resource for promoting transparency in lobbying. With over 1.6 million lobbying contracts, 13,000 firms, 109,000 entities, and 78,000 lobbyists in our database, we provide exclusive access to alternative data on American lobbying. Our database is collected and aggregated from the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records from 1999-present, and is updated on a regular basis using advanced data science techniques to ensure accurate data points are collected and ingested.

About LobbyingData.com

Learn more about us

LobbyingData.com provides access to real-time and historical data on American lobbying, including information on clients, lobbying firms, lobbyists, general and specific issues, bills lobbied on, agencies lobbied, and foreign entities. Our database includes over 1.6 million lobbying contracts, 13,000 lobbying firms, 109,000 entities that have lobbied, and 78,000 lobbyists, making it the most comprehensive source of lobbying information available.
We update our lobbying database on a near real0-time basis with new data points added as they become available. Our database is collected and aggregated from the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records from 1999-present, and we use advanced data science techniques to ensure accurate data points are collected and ingested.

We offer our database and datasets via a flat-fee model for bulk data and subscription model for real-time updates. We offer free trials and data samples on any topic of your choosing. We offer a range of flexible pricing plans to suit your needs. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Our methodology involves collecting and aggregating data from the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records, using advanced data science techniques to ensure accurate data points are collected and ingested, matching similar entities across time, and tickerizing publicly traded companies that lobby.

You can contact us through our website, LobbyingData.com, or by email at [email protected]

Lobbying Data Use Cases

Explore some fascinating research questions

Event-driven strategy: Monitor lobbying data for significant legislative events or regulatory changes that could impact specific industries or companies. Over-weight companies that are likely to benefit from these events, or under-weight companies that may face negative consequences due to the changes.
Identify companies with increasing lobbying spending over recent quarters. This could signal that the company is making a concentrated effort to influence policies in their favor. Focusing on these companies may provide exposure to firms that successfully gain a competitive advantage through their lobbying efforts.
Track companies that are significantly increasing lobbying efforts in response to negative news or unfavorable regulatory environments. These companies may be undervalued, as they are actively working to overcome challenges and improve their situation. Over-weight these companies with the expectation that their lobbying efforts will eventually pay off.
Identify industries or sectors that are the primary focus of current or upcoming legislative changes. Track the lobbying data of companies within these industries to determine which firms are actively involved in shaping these policies. Over-weight companies that appear well-positioned to benefit from the policy changes, or under-weight companies that seem likely to be negatively affected.
Analyze the historical performance of specific lobbyists or lobbying firms. Over-weight companies that have engaged high-performing lobbyists, as they may be more likely to secure favorable policy outcomes that could positively impact their stock prices.

Incorporate lobbying data into an ESG analysis of companies. Companies with substantial lobbying efforts that align with ESG principles may be viewed as more sustainable or socially responsible investments, potentially leading to better long-term performance.

Identify long-term trends and themes (e.g., clean energy, artificial intelligence) and analyze lobbying data to determine which companies are actively involved in influencing policies related to these themes. Over-weight companies that are leaders in these trends and are actively shaping policies to support their growth.

Lobbying Research Papers

Read external research conducted on lobbying data

Link to Article

Covers a blog post/article from unusual whales, discussing the link between congressional stock trading and corporate lobbying.

  • https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/money-talks-the-link-between-congressional-stock-trading-and-corporate-lobbying-1031427235
Link to Paper The study found that firms increase their lobbying activities during recessions, and even non-lobbying firms are more likely to start lobbying during such times. Firms that participate in lobbying are more likely to receive a federal subsidy, and executives have a greater incentive to lobby during recessions to increase their personal compensation.
  • https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3961149
Link to Paper Lobbying seems to provide limited tangible benefits in terms of obtaining government contracts or passing congressional bills. The study suggests that agency costs dominate the strategic benefits of lobbying activities, although firms may benefit when there is political alignment between the firm and the party in power.
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0929119917304510
  Link to Paper This study investigates whether corporate lobbying activities increase or decrease shareholder value and which factors influence the returns to such activities. The study finds that although there is generally a positive and significant association between abnormal stock returns and total lobbying expenditures, the returns vary significantly depending on the issue being lobbied, with tax-, defense-, trade-, and federal budget-related issues generating significant economic benefits for firms, while environment-related lobbying actually decreases shareholder value. Additionally, the study suggests that corporate lobbying activities represent strategic political investments that generate future economic benefits rather than agency problems.
  • https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2779697

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