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HOME / QUICK ANSWERS / PAC QUESTIONS

Quick Answers to PAC Questions

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions.  If you don't find an answer to your question here, please contact the FEC's Information Division, toll free at 800-424-9530 or by e-mail at info@fec.gov.

The PDF files linked on this web page may be viewed or printed using the free Acrobat Reader available from Adobe.

What is a political action committee?

The term "political action committee" (PAC) refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC: separate segregated funds (SSFs) and nonconnected committees.  Basically, SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organization.  By contrast, nonconnected committees--as their name suggests--are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public. For additional information, consult our Separate Segregated Funds and Nonconnected Committees fact sheet.

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How do I start a PAC that is connected to a corporation, trade association or labor organization?

Corporate/Trade/Labor PACs--aka separate segregated funds (SSFs)--must register upon formation by filing FEC Form 1 [PDF] (Instructions [PDF]), Statement of Organization. Please note that the name of committee must include the full name of the connected (sponsoring) organization.  Such SSFs should download the Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations [PDF] for more information on the laws that apply to them.

toolkit Download our SSF Registration Toolkit
The complete package of forms and other information necessary to register an SSF with the FEC.

 

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How do I start a nonconnected PAC?

Nonconnected PACs must register by filing FEC Form 1 [PDF] (Instructions [PDF]), Statement of Organization within 10 days after raising or spending in excess of $1,000 in connection with federal elections.  Such PACs should download the Campaign Guide for Nonconnected Committees [PDF] for more information on the laws that apply to them.

toolkit Download our Nonconnected PAC Registration Toolkit
The complete package of forms and other information necessary to register a committee with the FEC.

 

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How do I start a Super PAC or Hybrid PAC?

A Super PAC (Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committee) or Hybrid PAC (committee that maintains a non-contribution account) must register by filing FEC Form 1 [PDF] (Instructions [PDF]), Statement of Organization within 10 days after raising or spending in excess of $1,000 in connection with federal elections. Under "Type of Committee," the PAC would check box 5(f). Additionally, the committee must submit a letter to identify itself as a Super PAC or Hybrid PAC. The Commission has approved a template for Super PACs to use, and has provided specific instructions for Hybrid PACs. For additional information, consult the Super PAC and Hybrid PAC sections of our Recent Developments in the Law page, as well as our Coordinated Communications and Independent Expenditures brochure.

 

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When do I need to report my PAC's receipts and disbursements?

After registering with the FEC, PACs must file regular reports disclosing their receipts and disbursements.  PACs have the option to file these reports quarterly or monthly, and may change their filing frequency as often as once a year. PACs that choose to file quarterly may be required to file certain pre- and post-election reports, depending on their activity.  Please consult our reporting page for more information.

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