This report captures all reportable lobbying expenses incurred during a calendar year and is required of all employers of lobbyists registered during any portion of the preceding year, whether or not there is any reportable activity to disclose. All reportable lobbying expenditures incurred during the year are disclosed, not simply those reported by the lobbyist(s). All expenditures reported by the lobbyist on monthly reports are disclosed as a lump sum. Any expenditures not reported by the lobbyist are itemized. Take care not to duplicate expenditures.

All L-3 submissions are required to be filed electronically using the online application available at the PDC website and are due each year by the last day of February, per RCW 42.17A.630(1).

File a "zero" L-3 report if no lobbying compensation and other reportable lobbying expenditures were paid or incurred during the year and the registration was in effect.

Include expenses that were incurred or earned, regardless of whether they have been paid.

Expenditures exempt from reporting:

  1. unreimbursed personal living and travel expenses unless they are directly for lobbying,
  2. expenses for personal living accommodations (whether they are for maintenance of the lobbyist's home or for rented or leased accommodations, including hotel and motel rooms),
  3. personal travel expenses to hearings of the legislature * (e.g., mileage, vehicle rentals, other transportation, meals, beverages, laundry, parking, toiletry purchases, etc.),
  4. telephone and facsimile expenses,
  5. office expenses, including rent,
  6. support staff expenses, including salaries, unless the staffer lobbies, and
  7. expenses to produce reports, documents and other communications primarily designed for other purposes and distributed incidentally as part of the lobbying effort.

* "Hearings of the legislature" means any regular or special session of the state legislature or any publicly announced meeting of a standing, conference, joint or special committee of either house of the legislature. Travel for other lobbying purposes, such as for meetings with individual legislators or staff, state agency hearings or to attend political fund raisers, etc., is reportable.

When completing reports, neither the lobbyist nor the employer should include any exempt expenses.


Completing the Employer's Lobbying Expenses (L-3) Report: Overview

Remember, an annual report is due if the employer had a registration for any lobbyist/firm, for any period of the year, regardless of activity level.

  1. Login to the Lobbyist Electronic Filing system using your user account.
  2. Under Employers I File For, choose the name of the employer who the expenditure report will be filed for.
  3. On the page for the employer, find the Employer Menu and choose the New annual filing option.
  4. On the following page, entitled Create a new L-3 Report, use the dropdown under Choose your reporting period to select the appropriate period you want to file for. Once you have chosen the period, click the Save icon.
  5. In the following screen there are a series of tabs listing different categories of lobbying activities. Review information on each tab where you will indicate, through a series of yes or no questions, whether you have reportable activity. If there is activity, continue on that tab to provide the requested information.
  6. Once you have completed all tabs and are ready to submit, click the Submit to PDC icon at the bottom of the screen. The report will now validate for errors or incomplete entries. If this happens, return to the tab in question to correct or enter the information and then re-submit. You will now see the report you have just completed listed under the heading Submitted Annual Reports (L3) with the date and time submitted.

Completing the Employer's Lobbying Expenses (L-3) Report: Detailed Instructions

Report compensation and expenses on an accrual basis. That is, report them for the year in which each was incurred, not necessarily when paid.

Identify the employer

  • Log in to the Lobbyist Employer Electronic Filing system using your user account.
  • Under Employers I File For, choose the name of the employer who the expenditure report will be filed for.

Identify the reporting period

  • On the following page, entitled Create a new L3 Report, use the dropdown under Choose your reporting period to select the appropriate period you want to file for. Once you have chosen the period, click the Save icon.

In the application you will now see a series of tabs which require completion. Below are details about each tab and the information contained on each.


On this tab, verify the contact name of the person completing the report. Enter the calendar year that the report covers.


Listed on this tab are the total salary and fees reported by all registered lobbyists. These numbers are auto filled from the lobbyists/lobbyist firms monthly expense reports (L-2). The total amount you disclose for each lobbyist should closely approximate the total amount reported by the lobbyist as having been earned, received or due from you, assuming each of you is accurately disclosing only reportable compensation and expenditures.

It must also be noted, however, that the figures you report should not be a recapitulation of what the lobbyist reported; your records must support the amounts shown on your report. Verify that these numbers are correct and proceed to the next tab.

If the numbers are not correct, indicate that as well. You will then indicate the name of the lobbyist/firm with the incorrect information, using the dropdown as well as your revised compensation and expense figures. Once you have done so, the lobbyist will be contacted electronically to review the numbers you have provided so they may amend reports as necessary.


Reportable employer contributions include:

  • campaign contributions to candidates for statewide and legislative office;
  • contributions to political party organizations and other political committees;
  • tickets to fund raisers, including caucus political committee events;
  • contributions to political committees supporting or opposing a state ballot proposition;
  • in-kind contributions of staff assistance, office space, equipment, postage and copying services;
  • donation or use of goods or services for less than fair market value;
  • forgiveness of a debt;
  • loans to a candidate or political committee; and
  • campaign contributions from affiliated subsidiary or parent corporations, if the contribution was made at the request or direction of the lobbyist employer.

The term "candidate for state office" includes a candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands, insurance commissioner, state senator, and state representative.

"State ballot proposition" means any initiative to the people, recall of a state elected official, referendum or other measure to be submitted to the voters of the entire state. Any ballot measure required to be filed with the Secretary of State and voted on by all voters of the state is a state ballot proposition.

(Note that lobbyists who deliver or transmit contributions from any source, including an employer affiliated political committee, must itemize those contributions on his or her L-2 report.)

Report the total amount of contributions -- not otherwise reported by your lobbyist -- made by the employer directly to a candidate for state office, or to political committees supporting or opposing candidates for state office or to political committees supporting or opposing statewide ballot propositions in the Political contributions field.

Include all other contributions previously reported on PDC Form L-3c. as an aggregate figure in the Aggregate total of all non-itemize political contributions field.

If the employer has an affiliated political committee which made contributions, answer "Yes" to this question and enter the name of the committee in the List the affiliated PACs that made contributions field. A PAC is connected, related to, or closely affiliated with a lobbyist employer if the employer provides a substantial portion of the funds used by the PAC; provides funds or personnel to establish, direct or administer the committee; assists in the solicitation and collection of contributions from PAC members; has as members of the PAC primarily employees, stockholders or members of the firm, association, union or organization; employs or controls activities of the PAC officers or directors; or similarly exercises control over the contributions received and expenditures made by the PAC.

If an employer merely belongs to an association, union or organization that has a PAC, and the employer makes contributions to that PAC, these facts alone do not make that PAC connected, related or closely affiliated with the employer.

Contributions made by a political committee associated, affiliated or closely connected with the employer are not reported on the L-3, but rather are shown on the PAC's campaign disclosure reports

Independent Expenditures

On this tab the employer will report independent expenditure activity in the following categories: independent expenditure expenses to support or oppose legislative or state executive candidates, and expenses supporting or opposing a statewide ballot proposition. You may need to also file a C-6 for these types of expenditures.


On this tab the employer will report the following, if applicable:

  • Entertainment expenses: Report expenditures made to entertain, to provide gifts, travel or enrollment of course fees for legislators, state officials, state employees and members of their immediate families that exceeds $100. Also include the value of transportation in employer-owned vehicles or aircraft.
  • Itemized expenditures that were for the purpose of influencing, honoring or benefiting a legislator or official: Report expenditures to honor, influence or benefit state elected officials, successful candidates for state office or their family members. Include honoraria, speaker's fees, payment of medical bills or office staff or equipment, as well as any contracts and fees given to state officials, successful state office candidates or their immediate family members on a selective basis.
  • Other lobbying-related expenditures: Report expenditures made or incurred for other reportable lobbying expenses not included in any other section of this expense report. Example: A lobbyist employer (independent of the lobbyist) makes a contribution to a charitable or civic organization at the request or suggestion of a public official.
  • Other expenditures made by the employer: Report payments to vendors, expert witnesses, cost to compose and grassroots lobbying.

Other Compensation

On this tab, the employer will report the following, if applicable:employment compensation paid to state elected officials or successful candidates, and payments for professional services in which a state elected official, successful candidate for a state office or a member of the official's or candidate's immediate family holds an office or ownership interest of 10% or more. (Do not include the names of companies or organizations from which the employer purchased goods or tangible products in the normal course of business at fair market value).

Submitting the L3 report

Once all questions on each tab have been answered and the appropriate information supplied, the report may be submitted by clicking the Submit to PDC icon.

Amending Reports

Although every effort should be made to file complete and accurate reports, mistakes do happen. If you discover an omission or mistake in a previous report that affects the computations on the L-3 report, file an amended report.

Amend the L-3 report as follows: Log into the lobbyist/lobbyist employer account. Under Employers I File For, find the employer name and click on it. When the home page for the employer displays, find the report in question under Submitted Annual Reports (L3) and click on Amend at right. Make the appropriate changes as needed and submit to PDC. Amended L-3 reports should be filed as soon as the error is discovered.