What do you mean by “Rules”?
We mean a statement that we adopted after going through a formal process and that requires people (or us) to do something specific. Rules are sometimes called
- Standards, or
- Statements of general applicability.
Rules may also include what people or businesses are prohibited from doing. If you want to read the definition of a “Rule”, click here.
What’s the difference between a Rule and a Law?
In North Carolina, a law is enacted by the NC General Assembly. The General Assembly then tells a State agency like us to adopt a rule to implement that law. You can think of a rule as filling in the details of what is required by a law.
How can I figure out if a Rule applies to my business or me?
We can’t offer you legal advice. We can tell you how we interpret and apply the rule. In no particular order, things you can do to figure out if a rule applies include:
- Reading the rule and the rules before and after it, including the definitions.
- Asking us how we interpret and apply the rule. However, remember, that we cannot give you legal advice.
- Consulting an attorney.
- Sometimes business trade associations offer information to help their members figure out if rules apply to them.
Do I have to comply with both the Rules and the Law?
Yes, you have to comply with both the rules and the law (if they apply to you or a particular situation). Rules are really sort of a different kind of law. There may be exceptions like:
- Written into the law or rules.
- Because of a court case.
- If you challenge the rule of law and win a court case (or contested case).
Where can I find your rules?
Most of our divisions post either their rules or links to them on their websites. You can also go to the website of the Office of Administrative Hearings. They post the official version of almost all of the North Carolina rules – called the NC Administrative Code. Our rules are in Title 18 of the Administrative Code.