Rules of Acquisition

The Rules of Acquisition were a numbered series of aphorisms, guidelines, and principles that provided the foundation of business philosophy in Ferengi culture. They were first written ten thousand years ago by Gint, the first Grand Nagus. In the mid-22nd century there were 173 rules, but by the 24th century there were 285. Commentaries existed for the Rules. (ENT: “Acquisition“, DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“)

There was also a short-lived revised edition of the Rules written by Grand Nagus Zek after having his state of mind changed by the BajoranProphets. These rules were almost complete opposites of the original rules and promoted honesty and charity. After Zek recovered, he ordered all copies of the new rules to be destroyed. (DS9: “Prophet Motive“)

Number

Rule

 

1

Once you have their money, you never give it back.  

3

Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to.  

6

Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.  

7

Keep your ears open.  

9

Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.  

10

Greed is eternal.  

16

A deal is a deal.  

17

contract is a contract is a contract … but only between Ferengi.  

18

A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.  

21

Never place friendship above profit.  

22

A wise man can hear profit in the wind.  

23

Nothing is more important than your health … except for your money.  

31

Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother.  

33

It never hurts to suck up to the boss.  

34

War is good for business  

35

Peace is good for business.  

45

Expand or die.  

47

Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.  

48

The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.  

57

Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.  

59

Free advice is seldom cheap.  

62

The riskier the road, the greater the profit.  

74

Knowledge equals profit.  

75

Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.  

76

Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.  

94

Females and finances don’t mix.  

95

Expand or die.  

98

Every man has his price.  

102

Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever.  

103

Sleep can interfere with your lust for latinum.  

109

Dignity and an empty sack is worth a sack.  

111

Treat people in your debt like family … exploit them.  

112

Never have sex with the boss’s sister.  

125

You can’t make a deal if you’re dead.  

139

Wives serve, brothers inherit.  

168

Whisper your way to success.  
A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.  

190

Hear all, trust nothing.  

194

It’s always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door.  

203

New customers are like razor-toothed gree-worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back.  

208

Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.  

211

Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don’t hesitate to step on them.  

214

Never begin a negotiation on an empty stomach.  

217

You can’t free a fish from water.  

229

Latinum lasts longer than lust.  

239

Never be afraid to mislabel a product.  

263

Never let doubt interfere with your lust for latinum.  

285

No good deed ever goes unpunished.  

Unofficial Rules

The following sayings were either not given a number, not explicitly stated to be a Rule, or were not part of the generally-accepted canon by the Ferengi Commerce Authority.

Number

Rule

 
142 Only fools sell wholesale.  
286 When Morn leaves, it’s all over.  
299 After you’ve exploited someone, it never hurts to thank them. That way, it’s easier to exploit them next time.  
Exploitation begins at home.  
(The unwritten rule) When no appropriate rule applies, make one up.  
When the messenger comes to appropriate your profits … kill the messenger.  
Time, like latinum, is a highly limited commodity.  
Always inspect the merchandise before making a deal.  
Money is money, but females are better.  
Why ask, when you can take?Call to Arms  
A good lie is easier to believe than the truth.  
If that’s what’s written, then that’s what’s written.