Who Needs a DNC subscription?

Any company that makes outbound calls to consumers that include some kind of solicitation should examine the question whether they need to subscribe to the federal Do-Not-Call list, which is administered and enforced by both the FTC and the FCC.

There are three categories of organizations that are covered by the DNC subscription requirement: Sellers, Telemarketers, and Service Providers.  Certain types of organizations that make outbound calls are exempt from the subscription requirement, even if their calls include a sales solicitation. Many of these types of companies voluntarily choose to access the information solely for the purpose of preventing calls to consumers whose numbers are on the DNC. These organizations may register and download DNC data free of charge.

The following is a brief description of organizations that may fall into these categories:

Sellers:  A seller is any person or business who, in connection with a telemarketing transaction, provides, offers to provide, or arranges for others to provide goods or services to the customer in exchange for consideration. A seller also may be a telemarketer, if it is calling on its own behalf, or if it retains one or more Telemarketers to place calls for it. In either case, you should register as a seller.

Telemarketers:  A telemarketer is any person or business who, in connection with telemarketing, initiates or receives telephone calls to or from a customer.  In other words, a third party dialing company or call center hired by sellers to initiate or receive calls on their behalf.

Service Providers:  A service provider is any person or business that provides assistance to sellers or telemarketers to engage in telemarketing, such as list brokers and service bureaus.

Exempt Organizations:  Organizations that are exempt from DNC subscription requirements include charities or certain non-profit organizations, organizations engaged in political solicitations or surveys, or sellers or telemarketers that call ONLY consumers with whom they have an established business relationship or from whom they have obtained the express written agreement to call.

To subscribe to the Do-Not-Call list, click here.   You’ll need to provide your company’s tax ID number.  If you don’t have a tax ID, you’ll need to provide your social security number, and be prepared to agree (under penalty of perjury) that all the information you provide is accurate.

A note to sellers:  Even if you’re using a telemarketer that subscribes to and abides by the DNC, you are still required to maintain your subscription for all area codes the telemarketer dials on your behalf.


Author: Seth Heyman
Seth D. Heyman is a California attorney with extensive experience in advertising and marketing law, corporate law, contracts, governmental regulations, international business, and Internet law. He has counseled numerous successful companies, both public and private, and was responsible for regulatory compliance, contract management, corporate governance, and HR best practices for multiple organizations in many diverse industries, including marketing, telecommunications, energy, and technology development. He offers insight and guidance on federal and state direct mail, TV, radio, telemarketing, and Internet marketing laws, as well as online promotions, Internet privacy, data protection regulations, and similar matters.

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