Who must register
All SSFs must register with the FEC, regardless of the size of the fund. A committee established exclusively for state and local (i.e., nonfederal) activity, however, does not need to register or file reports with the FEC. Such a committee may trigger federal registration if it undertakes activities in connection with a federal election. For example, in AO 2003-29 (Fraternal Order of Police), a nonfederal PAC triggered registration by transferring funds to an affiliated federal PAC.
When to register
Register the SSF within 10 days of its establishment, regardless of how much money (if any) it has raised.
For example, register within 10 days of any of the following:
- The board of directors votes to create the SSF.
- Officers are selected to administer the SSF’s fund.
- Initial SSF operating expenses are paid.
A fund that has been exclusively used for nonfederal activity must register with the FEC as an SSF if it makes contributions or expenditures of any amount in connection with a federal election and will be subject to the limitations and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act. At that time, the committee must notify donors that the funds will now be used for federal election purposes and offer them the opportunity to receive a refund. Moreover, any contributions from federally impermissible sources may not be included in any cash on hand that is transferred to the committee.
How to register
Register by filing a Statement of Organization (Form 1) with the FEC. The Form 1 collects some basic information, including the SSF's full name, address and treasurer.
If information disclosed on the Statement of Organization ever changes, the SSF must report that change within 10 days. Do this by filing an amended Form 1. If the SSF isn’t an electronic filer, update your Statement of Organization by letter.
The Form 1 is available in the following options:
Read step-by-step Form 1 instructions.
Note: The FEC oversees federal campaign finance activity. If your PAC is involved only in state and local elections, you don’t need to register with the FEC.