An Introduction to Bylaws and Standing Rules

The key differences between bylaws and standing rules relate to scope and effect. At the core, bylaws are designed to be overarching and procedural, while standing rules are specific and administrative.

Bylaws are the written rules and regulations adopted by an organization to provide a framework for its operations and management.

  • Bylaws should include all the rules that are of such importance that they cannot be changed in any way without previous notice.
    • Bylaws typically specify the name and purpose of the organization, membership qualifications, rights and assessments (dues), election of officers and their duties and filling of vacancies, meetings and quorum requirements, committees, parliamentary authority, procedure for amending bylaws and the dissolution procedure for the organization.
    • Bylaws may not be suspended unless they provide for their suspension.

Standing rules relate to the details of the administration of the organization and may be suspended for a single meeting, but “should contain only such rules as may be adopted without previous notice by a majority vote at any business meeting.”

Standing Rules may include:

  1. a guest register at the meetings;
  2. wearing name badges at meetings; and
  3. the time and place for the meeting.

Download the Bylaws and Standing Rules (pdf)