As regulation has become a hot-button issue in recent years, regulatory lobbying has been on the rise. But what is it and is it different from legislative advocacy?

On the legislative side, we are lobbying for or against legislation and dealing with elected officials in Congress. On the regulatory side, we are lobbying for or against regulations and dealing with the executive governmental agencies and their political appointees. These rule-making bodies create regulations to implement legislation as well as define the enforcement measures and consequences.

The rules, policies and regulations enacting a law often have a tremendous impact on how a company conducts business. Regulatory lobbying is narrowly focused on these specific rules, rather than broader issues. Running afoul of governmental policies can result in significant financial penalties and business disruption. It is crucial to express concerns about potential adverse consequences of regulatory (or deregulatory) actions before rules are finalized in order to limit or expand the scope of a statute.