Lobbyist Registration

SDCL 2-12-1 defines a lobbyist as "Any person who employs any other person to act as a lobbyist to seek the introduction of legislation or to promote, oppose, or influence in any manner the passage by the Legislature of any legislation affecting the special interests of any agency, individual, association, or business, as distinct from those of the whole people of the state, or to act in any manner as a lobbyist in connection with any such legislation, shall register the name of the person so employed or agreed to be employed, with the secretary of state, to be included in a directory of registered lobbyists as hereinafter provided. The lobbyist shall also register with the secretary of state. Upon the termination of such employment prior to the adjournment sine die of a legislative session, such fact shall be entered opposite the name of any person so employed, either by the employer or employee."

Additional statutes regarding lobbyists may be found at SDCL 2-12.

Initiated Measure 22 as it applies to lobbyists

IM 22 is no longer the law for South Dakota, however, it may be again, at least in part. 

On December 8, 2016, Judge Barnett granted a temporary injunction against IM 22.  This means that IM 22 is no longer a valid or enforceable law.   This status may change because Judge Barnett is allowing briefs to be submitted as to why parts of the law should be valid, that is, the temporary injunction as to parts of the law should be lifted, or made to go away which if successful would make parts of IM 22 valid and enforceable law.  We do not know what parts are being briefed or how Judge Barnett will rule.   A second very real and possible path that could proceed at the same time is that the temporary injunction could be appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court asking the court to overturn Judge Barnett’s decision.  The timing of such an appeal and most importantly when a decision would be issued is unknown.

So at the moment, IM 22 is no longer the law, but stay tuned, the rest of the story is still unfolding.

Online Registration System

Online Registration for the 2017 Legislative Session will open on November 14, 2016.

Lobbyists must register before Employers can access the system.

The Online Registration System assists you by:

  • Allowing easy access to register ahead of session.
  • Processing fees online via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express).
  • Streamlining the registration process by entering the lobbyist name only once for multiple employers.
  • Providing employers email notification of lobbyist registration with a link to the authorization form.
  • Providing easy management of employers or lobbyists.
  • Recording expenses as you go.
  • Submitting lobbyist/employer expense reports online at the completion of the legislative session.
  • Ordering a lost badge replacement.

For the Lobbyist Registration Guide, click here.

Downloadable Forms

The Secretary of State’s office accepts paper filings for lobbyist registration, employer authorization or lobbyist/employer expense reports.

Lobbyist Registration Form

Employer Authorization Form

Lobbyist Expense Report

Employer Expense Report

Return the completed form(s) to:
South Dakota Secretary of State
Lobbyist Registration
500 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 204, Pierre, SD 57501

Registered Lobbyist Directory

As per SDCL 2-12-2, for the public directory of registered lobbyists by Legislative Session, click here.

Contact Information

If you need assistance, please contact the Lobbyist Administrator at (605) 773-3539, email at or stop by our office during normal business hours.