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Registering as a political party

Forming a new national or state political party organization: New party organizations must register with the FEC when they raise or spend money over certain thresholds in connection with a federal election.

The FEC determines if a committee has demonstrated enough national (or state) activity to qualify as a national (or state) party committee. Before taking advantage of higher contribution limits available to these party committees, a committee will have to ask for an FEC advisory opinion to verify that it has attained national (or state) committee status.

If a party organization will be active only in state or local elections, it doesn't need to register with the FEC.

Forming a local branch of an existing political party (for example, Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Green party): Local branches must register their party organization with the FEC when they raise or spend money over certain thresholds in connection with a federal election.

When a local party organization is required to register with the FEC, it becomes a local party committee. A local party committee is presumed to be affiliated with the other federal party committees in its state. Affiliated committees share limits on contributions made and received.

If a party organization will be active only in state or local elections, it doesn’t need to register with the FEC.