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Rules of Acquisition List

The following are the various Ferengi Rules of Acquisition we have heard over the run of Star Trek. As of 2151 there were 173 rules; by 2370 there were 285 rules (DS9, "Rules of Acquisition"). Gint, the first Grand Nagus and his cronies claimed credit for writing the rules of acquisition (DS9, "Body Parts"). How this squares with more rules being added over time is anybodies guess.

The list is based on the Encyclopedia, and so may omit some mentioned in later DS9 episodes. As usual, any corrections or updates should include the number and text of the rule, the episode it's from, and if possible an idea of where in the episode it is mentioned.

RuleDown Description Episode
285 No good deed ever goes unpunished. The Collaborator
284 Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
266 When in doubt, lie. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
263 Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum. Bar Association
261 A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
255 A wife is a luxury... a smart accountant a necessity. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
242 More is good. All is better. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
239 Never be afraid to mislabel a product. Body Parts
236 You can't buy fate. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
229 Latinum lasts longer than lust. Ferengi Love Songs
223 Beware the man who doesn't make time for oo-mox. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
218 Always know what you're buying. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
217 You can't free a fish from water. Past Tense, Part 1
214 Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach. The Maquis, Part 1
211 Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them. Bar Association
208 Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. Ferengi Love Songs
203 New customers are like razor-toothed Gree worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back. Little Green Men
202 The justification for profit is profit. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
194 It's always good business to know about your customers before they walk in your door. Whispers
192 Never cheat a Klingon... unless you can get away with it. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
190 Hear all, trust nothing. Call to Arms
189 Let others keep their reputation. You keep their latinum. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
181 Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
177 Know your enemies... but do business with them always. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
168 Whisper your way to success. Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
162 Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
144 There's nothing wrong with charity... as long as it winds up in your pocket. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
141 Only fools pay retail. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
139 Wives serve, brothers inherit. Necessary Evil
125 You can't make a deal if you're dead. The Siege of AR-558
121 Everything is for sale, even friendship. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
113 Always have sex with the boss. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
112 Never have sex with the bosses sister. Playing God
111 Treat people in your debt like family. Exploit them. Past Tense, Part 1
109 Dignity and an empty sack is worth a sack. Rivals
106 There is no honour in poverty. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
104 Faith moves mountains... of inventory. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
103 Sleep can interfere with· (remainder of rule unknown). Rules of Acquisition
102 Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever. The Jem'Hadar
98 Every man has his price. In the Pale Moonlight
97 Enough... is never enough. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
95 Expand or die. False Profits
94 Females and finance don't mix. Ferengi Love Songs
89 Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
85 Never let the competition know what you're thinking. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
82 The flimsier the product, the higher the price. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
79 Beware of the Vulcan greed for knowledge. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
76 Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies!. The Homecoming
75 Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum. Civil Defense
74 Knowledge equals profit. Inside Man
65 Win or lose, there's always Hupyrian beetle snuff. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
62 The riskier the road, the greater the profit. Rules of Acquisition
60 Keep your lies consistent. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
59 Free advice is seldom cheap. Rules of Acquisition
58 There is no substitute for success. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
57 Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them. Armageddon Game
52 Never ask when you can take. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
48 The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife. Rules of Acquisition
47 Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own. Rivals
45 Expand or die. Acquisition
44 Never confuse wisdom with luck. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
41 Profit is its own reward. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
40 She can touch your lobes, but never your latinum. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
35 Peace is good for business. Destiny
34 War is good for business. Destiny
33 It never hurts to suck up to the boss. Rules of Acquisition
31 Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother. The Siege
27 There is nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
23 Nothing is more important than your health... except for your money. Acquisition
22 A wise man can hear profit in the wind. Rules of Acquisition
21 Never place friendship above profit. Rules of Acquisition
19 Satisfaction is not guaranteed. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
18 A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all. Heart of Stone
17 A contract is a contract is a contract, but only between Ferengi. Body Parts
16 A deal is a deal. Melora
13 Anything worth doing is worth doing for money. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
10 Greed is eternal. Prophet Motive
9 Opportunity plus instinct equals profit. The Storyteller
8 Small print leads to large risk. Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
7 Keep your ears open. In the Hands of the Prophets
6 Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity. Also stated as 'Never allow family to stand in the way of profit' in ENT "Acquisition" The Nagus
3 Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to. The Maquis, Part 2
1 Once you have their money, you never give it back. The Nagus
? A man is only worth the sum of his possessions. Acquisition
? Exploitation begins at home False Profits

In the episode "Prophet Motive", the Grand Nagus produced a revised set of the Rules of Acquisition whilst under the influence of the Bajoran Prophets. The following are the known rules from this set, all copies of which were destroyed when the Nagus regained his original personality.

Rule Description Episode
1 If they want their money back, give it to them. DS9 : Prophet Motive
10 Greed is dead. DS9 : Prophet Motive
21 Never place profit above friendship. DS9 : Prophet Motive
22 Latinum tarnishes, but family is forever. DS9 : Prophet Motive
23 Money can never replace dignity. DS9 : Prophet Motive
285 A good dead is its own reward. DS9 : Prophet Motive

Additionally, the Voyager episode "False Profits" featured Neelix telling two Ferengi stranded in the Delta Quadrant that rule of acquisition number 299 was "When you exploit someone, it never hurts to thank them". We do not know if this is an accurate quotation; if it is, then we would need to believe that the Ferengi have added extra rules sometime prior to Voyagers accident and that Neelix has read up on these since.

In DS9's "House of Quark", Quark himself suggested an additional rule: Rule 286, "When Morn leaves, it's all over". Quark was bemoaning the state of his business at the time, and it is unlikely that this rule is a real one.


Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 23,360 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970