The Keys to Compliance for Companies with Political Activity

Today, when companies involve themselves in politics, there are a lot of regulations that they must comply with, whether at the federal or state level. While regulations may vary by state, companies need to know certain things before they begin to lobby for policy change or get involved in elections. 

Inside Counsel recently sat down with Josh Hicks of McDonald Carano, who leads the firm’s Government Affairs & Advocacy Group, to discuss the major issues to consider before considering engaging in political activity. Hicks represents clients before the Nevada legislature, local governments and state agencies, and advises on all aspects of Nevada campaign finance and election law, including ballot initiatives. 

“Political compliance in each state is unique, and it is always best to retain experienced counsel,” he said. “Counsel can help a company understand contribution limits, in-kind contributions, reporting of campaign contributions and expenses, PAC registration and reporting, lobbying reporting requirements and allowed and prohibited lobbying activities.” 

There are extensive statutes, regulations, case law and policy guidance on political activity in each state. According to Hicks, they are generally designed to create transparency and accountability to the public among donors, elected officials and political organizations. Many of these rules are constantly subject to amendment, so it is important to stay on top of any changes. For instance, in Nevada, the rules regarding allowed and prohibited lobbying activities underwent a significant change in 2015.

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By Amanda Ciccatelli

Inside Counsel



About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has helped to shape the Nevada business and legal landscape for 70 years. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgments are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit, call 775.788.2000 (Reno office), or 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or reach us by email at

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