Rules of Acquisition

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In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Rules of Acquisition are a collection of sacred business proverbs of the ultra-capitalist race known as the Ferengi.

The first mention of the rules within the Star Trek universe was in "The Nagus", an episode of the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Season 1, Episode 10). In a later Deep Space Nine episode, "The Maquis: Part 1", Sakonna (a Vulcan) asks Quark (a Ferengi) to explain what a Rule of Acquisition is. He states, "Every Ferengi business transaction is governed by 285 Rules of Acquisition to ensure a fair and honest deal for all parties concerned... well most of them anyway."[1]


The first Rule was made by Gint, the first Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance, a role with political, economic, and even quasi-religious duties. While the Star Trek universe lore maintains that the rules are adhered to stringently by all Ferengi and have always been and will remain rules, another theory on their original intent has been brought up in Deep Space 9. In Episode 25 of Season 4 of Deep space 9, entitled "Body Parts" Quark finds himself dreaming of the Divine Treasury and Grand Nagus Gint. In this dream, he is told by the Nagus that the title of "Rules of Acquisition" was chosen as a clever marketing ploy (since the rules are merely guidelines), and Gint numbered his first Rule as #162, to create a demand for the other 161 Rules that had yet to be written. The Rules were said to be divinely inspired and sacred (thus furthering the original marketing ploy.)[2]

Although it has been stated within Star Trek that there are 285 Rules,[1][3] not all of them have been stated in canon. Most of the Rules were written by Ira Steven Behr, a writer for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in a book The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (ISBN 0-671-52936-6). The book's cover credits authorship as being "By Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr." Additional rules were published in Legends of the Ferengi (ISBN 0-671-00728-9) by Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, another writer for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when Behr was the executive producer of the series.[4]

The Star Trek: Voyager episode "False Profits" mentions a book containing all of the Rules:

Unabridged and fully annotated with all 47 commentaries, all 900 major and minor judgments, all 10,000 considered opinions. There's a rule for every conceivable situation." There is also a note about The Unwritten Rule: "When no appropriate rule applies... make one up."[5]

Also in "False Profits", Neelix (a Talaxian) states that there are 299 Rules of Acquisition. This is a ploy to confuse the Ferengi who have been trapped on the Tarkarian homeworld. When challenged, Neelix states that while the Ferengi have been away, additional Rules had been created.


  1. ^ a b "The Maquis: Part 1". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Television production). Season 2. Episode 20. Event occurs at 23:00. 
  2. ^ Kraemer, Ross Shepard; Kraemer, Ross; Cassidy, William; Schwartz, Susan L. (2003). Religions of Star Trek. Westview Press. pp. 3, 180. ISBN 9780813341156. 
  3. ^ "Rules of Acquisition". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Television production). Season 2. Episode 7. Event occurs at 3:00. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Mary P. (2002). Adventures in Time and Space. Simon and Schuster. p. 483. ISBN 9780743455930. 
  5. ^ "False Profits". Star Trek: Voyager (Television production). Season 3. Episode 5. 

External links

  • Ferengi Rules of Acquisition - the complete list
  • "Rules of Acquisition".  - rules as outlined in the series canon.
  • "Ferengi Rules of Acquisition".  - rules including those found in related novels and other non-canon sources.
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