Promoting confidence, transparency, and accountability in Montana's democratic processes.
The following is a list of candidate report forms and a brief description of what each form is and where and when the form must be filed (PDF of candidate forms).
The following tabs are a list of candidate report forms and a brief description of what each form is and where and when the form must be filed (available as a PDF).
As of October 2019, and in accordance with 13-37-225 and 226 MCA, all candidates must:
Each candidate must file a Statement of Candidate. If any of the information in a Statement of Candidate changes, the candidate must file an amended form providing the new information within five days of the change (13- 37-204, MCA, 44.11.303(2), ARM). After filing a C-1 or C-1A Statement of Candidate, a candidate has the option to file (or not file) a C-3 Code of Fair Campaign Practices. Reference this Guide to Register as a Candidate & Banking Requirements for helpful filing and campaign details.
C-1 Statement of Candidate: Form C-1 is the Statement of Candidate form that candidates for statewide or state district offices (House, Senate, Public Service Commission, and District Judges) must file.
C-1A Statement of Candidate: Form C-1A is the Statement of Candidate for county, municipal, or school candidates.
C-3 Code of Fair Campaign Practices (Sample C-3 Form): Candidates may file a C-3 in CERS at any time, but it is a voluntary form and is not required.
C-5 Candidate Campaign Finance Report (C-5 instructions and sample form): Form C-5 is the candidate campaign finance reporting form and must be filed by all candidates who have filed a C-1 running for statewide or state district office as well as all county, municipal, and school candidates that have designated themselves 'C' box candidates on the C-1A.
C-7 Notice of Pre-Election Contributions (Hard copy C-7 form for 2019 city candidates) (Sample C-7 form and instructions): Form C-7 is the Notice of Pre-Elections Contributions and must be filed by:
C-7E Notice of Pre-Election Expenditures (Hard copy C-7E form for 2019 city candidates) (Sample C-7E form and instructions):: Form C-7E is the Notice of Pre-Election Expenditures and must be filed by:
For more candidate information on post-election (primary or general) options for campaign accounts, reference the post-election candidate finance guide. The guide includes information on how to settle outstanding campaign debts and loans, and how to navigate surplus candidate funds after a primary and general election. The information below on forms covers form options for surplus campaign funds.
C-8 Constituent Services Reporting Form (C-8 form): Form C-8 is the Constituent Services Reporting form, which discloses any expenses made from an established constituent services account (learn more about constituent services accounts here).
C-118 Disposition of Surplus Campaign Funds (Form C-118): Form C-118 is the Disposition of Surplus Campaign Funds and discloses how candidates who filed C-5 campaign finance reports disposed of any and all surplus campaign funds.
C-118C Establish a Constituent Services Account (Form C-118C): Form C-118C is the form that allows an official who has been elected to public office to create a constituent services account (For more information, reference this constituent services guide).
D-1 Business Disclosure Statement (D-1 form and guide): Form D-1 is the Business Disclosure Statement and must be filed by:
The dates by which form D-1 must be filed, according to candidate type, are:
The Campaign Electronic Reporting System (CERS) is a publicly accessible database where candidates and committees report the money they receive and spend to promote and oppose candidates and other ballot issues. Access CERS via this link. If you forget your ePass login information or cannot access CERS, reference this guide to regain access to CERS.
To add in campaign finance information and file reports, familiarize yourself with the Candidate Guide to Navigating CERS. The guide details:
Montana campaign finance laws protect the public’s right to know who is paying to finance elections and how money is spent by campaigns. Candidates ensure transparency in Montana’s democratic processes by periodically filing legally-required campaign finance information as campaign finance reports. The COPP is mandated to review all candidate and committee financial reports (13-37-121, Montana Code Annotated). Once a campaign finance report is filed, the COPP inspects each report and sends the candidate or committee an Inspection Report.
To learn more about the inspection and review process, reference this Inspection and Exam Process guide. The guide covers:
Please see HERE.
The following is a list of committee report forms and a brief description of what each form is and where and when the form must be filed (available as a PDF).
C-2 Statement of Organization: The C-2 Statement of Organization must be filed by all political committees who participate in Montana elections by making expenditures or receiving contributions.
C-4 Incidental Political Committee Finance Report (C-4 guide): Incidental committees file form C-4s to disclose all contributions received and expenditures made during a specific timeframe.
C-6 Political Committee Finance Report (C-6 guide): Form C-6 is the finance report that must be filed by political party, ballot issue, and independent (PAC) committees.
C-7 Notice of Pre-Election Contributions (C-7 Form and Instructions):
C-7E Notice of Pre-Election Expenditures (C-7E guide and form):
Montana campaign finance laws protect the public’s right to know who is paying to finance elections and how money is spent by campaigns. Committees ensure transparency in Montana’s democratic processes by periodically filing legally-required campaign finance information as campaign finance reports (Forms C-2, C-4, C-6, C-7, and C-7E).
The COPP is mandated to review all committee financial reports (13-37-121, MCA). Once a campaign finance report is filed, the COPP inspects each report and sends the committee an Inspection Report.
The Inspection Report identifies any issues that the committee must address in their campaign finance reports in order to comply with Montana law. For example, an Inspection Report will alert committees to items that require additional detail or information, items that may not be reported in the correct place or manner, or other potential issues.
It is the responsibility of each committee to amend financial reports to ensure their compliance with Montana’s campaign finance laws. To learn more about the COPP's inspection and exam process, click here.
The following is a list of lobbying report forms and a brief description of what each form is and where and when the form must be filed (available as a PDF).
Lobbyists will file Form L-1. Principals will file either a Form L-2 (for each individual lobbyist they pay $2,600 or more to lobby on their behalf) and/or Form L-3 (if they will pay $2,600 or to individuals to lobby on their behalf, but will not pay an individual lobbyist $2,600 or more to lobby on their behalf).
Form L-1, Lobbyist License Application (Form L-1): An individual (lobbyist) must file a Form L-1 if they receive payments of $2,600 or more in a calendar year (excluding reimbursements for personal living expenses) to promote, oppose, or modify the introduction or enactment of legislation on behalf of one or more principals.
Form L-2, Principal Authorization Statement (Form L-2): An individual (principal) must file a Form L-2 if they have made payment(s) or have agreed to make payments of $2,600 or more to an individual lobbyist to promote, oppose, and/or modify the introduction or enactment of legislation on the principal’s behalf. The L-2 authorizes a lobbyist to lobby on a principal’s behalf.
Form L-3, Principal Authorization Statement (Form L-3): An individual (principal) must file a Form L-3 if they have made payment(s) or have agreed to make payments of $2,600 or more to individuals to lobby on their behalf to promote, oppose, and/or modify the introduction or enactment of legislation. (Principals who pay a single lobbyist $2,600 or more must file a Form L-2.)
Form L-5, Lobbying Financial Report (Form L-5): Any “principal” who makes payments or agrees to make payments exceeding $2,600 in a calendar year for the purpose of lobbying must complete and file the L-5 Lobbying Financial Report.
Lobbyist License Fee Waiver Request (Fee Waiver form):
Lobbying Complaint Procedure and Form
Multiple Public Employment Disclosure Statement (Form E-1)
A Form D-1 Business Disclosure Statement (D-1 Instructions, D-1 Form) must be filed by:
• name, address, and type of business of the individual;
• type of business in which currently engaged or formerly engaged prior to election or appointment;
• each present or past employing entity from which benefits, including retirement benefits, are currently received by the individual;
• each business, firm, corporation, partnership, and other business or professional entity or trust in which the individual holds an interest;
• each additional entity in which the individual is an officer or director, including not for profit entities; and
• all real property, other than a personal residence, in which the individual holds an interest; real property may be described by general description.
• personal property not held for use or sale in a trade or business or for investment purposes, such as personal vehicles or household furnishings;
• cash surrender value of any insurance policy or annuity;
• bank deposits, including checking or savings accounts or certificates of deposit not held for use in a trade or business; and
• securities issued by any government or political subdivision.
• Statewide or state district elected officials or department directors: prior to December 15 of each even-numbered year;
• Candidates for statewide or state district offices: within five days of the time the candidate files for office; and
• Individual appointed to any of the above offices: at the earlier of the time of submission of the person’s name for confirmation or the assumption of office
• Via mail (P.O. Box 202401, Helena, MT 59620-2401);
• Via fax (406-444-1643);
• Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or
• Delivered in person to the COPP office (1209 8thAvenue, Helena, MT).
Frequently Asked Questions
Montana Code of Ethics and the Gift Ban
Public Employee Political Activity While at Work
Ethics Complaint Forms
Please see HERE.
1209 8TH AVE
P.O. BOX 202401
HELENA, MT 59620-2401