Federal Trade Commission | Protecting America's Consumer

Definitions Of Organizations That May Use This Web Site And Pay For Access

Seller—includes 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".

Every Seller should subscribe to subscribe to area codes, pay the appropriate fee, and agree to the certification requirements to receive a Subscription Account Number (SAN) with the National Do Not Call Registry. A Seller may direct a Telemarketer to complete the online subscription process for it, but the Seller must have its own subscription and SAN, separate from the Telemarketer's subscription and SAN.

Telemarketer ("TM")—includes any person or business who, in connection with telemarketing, initiates or receives telephone calls to or from a customer.

  • If a Telemarketer is accessing the registry through a Seller’s account, (the Seller by definition is the Telemarketer’s Client) the Seller must have its own subscription with the Registry. The Telemarketer may access the Registry on behalf of the Seller at no additional charge if the Telemarketer is authorized by the Seller to use the Seller’s SAN. Any applicable fees should be paid by the Seller, or by the Telemarketer on that Seller's behalf. The Telemarketer may use the data it downloads only for that Seller. Telemarketers should understand that every Seller must have its own subscription to the Registry. At the direction of a Seller, a Telemarketer may complete the online subscription process and obtain a SAN for the Seller.
  • If a Telemarketer accesses the registry on its own behalf as well as accessing the registry through a client’s account, it may obtain its own SAN by subscribing to area codes for itself and paying its own access fee and agreeing to the certification requirements. However, a Telemarketer may not use Registry data to place calls on behalf of more than one Seller unless each Seller has its own subscription and a SAN. That is, a Telemarketer cannot purchase the list once and then provide the data to all of its Clients who have not paid the appropriate fees to access the Registry.

Service Provider ("SP")—includes any person or business that provides assistance to sellers or telemarketers to engage in telemarketing, such as list brokers and service bureaus.

  • If a Service Provider accesses the registry through a client’s account, the client must have its own subscription with the Registry. The Service Provider may access the Registry on behalf of the client at no additional charge if the Service Provider is authorized by the client to use the client’s SAN. Any applicable fees should be paid by the client, or by the Service Provider on that client's behalf. The Service Provider may use the data it downloads only for that client. Service Provider should understand that every client must have its own subscription to the Registry. At the direction of a client, a Service Provider may complete the online subscription process and obtain a SAN for the client.
  • If a Service Provider accesses the registry on its own behalf as well as accessing the registry through a client’s account, it may obtain its own SAN by subscribing to area codes for itself and paying its own access fee and agreeing to the certification requirements. However, a Service Provider may not use Registry data to place calls on behalf of more than one Seller unless each Seller has its own subscription and a SAN. That is, a Service Provider cannot purchase the list once and then provide the data to all of its Clients who have not paid the appropriate fees to access the Registry.

Exempt Organizations ("EO")—includes any person or business that is exempt from both the FTC's and FCC's requirements to access the National Registry, but voluntarily chooses to access the information solely for the purpose of preventing telephone calls to telephone numbers in the National Registry. Exempt Organizations 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. See 16 CFR § 310.4(b)(1)(iii)(B)(i) and (ii). Entities that have been granted tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code are not necessarily Exempt Organizations for purposes of the National Do Not Call Registry. See, e.g., FTC v. National Consumer Council, Inc., and FTC v. Debt Management Foundation Services, Inc., at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/creditcouncel.htm. There, the FTC successfully challenged the status of a purported nonprofit organization whose role in fact was simply to generate leads for other firms which then charged consumers thousands of dollars in fees for their services. Exempt Organizations must wait three business days following the submission of their request before they may be given access to registered numbers. For more information see http://business.ftc.gov/documents/alt129-qa-telemarketers-sellers-about-dnc-provisions-tsr#exemptorgs.

The following chart provides additional information for Sharing SANs:

Type of Organization Who Must Pay? Who Must Complete the Certification? Who May Download the Information? Who Owns the Subscription Account Number (SAN)? May the Organization Transfer the SAN?
Seller who engages in its own telemarketing Seller Seller Seller Seller Yes to one or more TM/SP but not with an EO
Seller who uses Telemarketer (TM) or Service Provider (SP) Either Seller or TM/SP on behalf of Seller Either Seller or TM/SP on behalf of Seller Either Seller or TM/SP on behalf of Seller Seller Yes, to one or more TM/SP but not with a Seller or an EO
Telemarketer or Service Provider (TM/SP) that accesses the registry through a clients account TM/SP or no one (if using existing SAN) TM/SP Seller Seller/Client Yes, with another TM/SP but not with a Seller or an EO
Telemarketer or Service Provider(TM/SP) that accesses the registry on its own behalf as well as accessing the registry through a client’s account TM/SP and client TM/SP TM/SP TM/SP Yes, with another TM/SP but not with a Seller or an EO
Exempt Organizations (EO) No payment required or TM/SP if engaging in non-exempt telemarketing activities on behalf of EO EO or TM/SP on behalf of EO EO or TM/SP on behalf of EO EO Yes to one or more TM/SP

Note: A Covered Seller is subject to the Federal Trade Commission's amended Telemarketing Sales Rule.