Bylaws Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bylaws, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bylaws?

(n) Bylaws are the written rules and regulations framed and accepted by the members, shareholders etc while incorporating a corporation , association, partnership or other association of persons, containing the mode of management of the institution.

History and Definition of Bylaws

Bylaws are a set of written rules and regulations that are established by an organization or institution for the purpose of governing its internal affairs. They are essentially the organization's operating manual or constitution, outlining the procedures and protocols to be followed by members, shareholders, directors, officers or anyone involved with the governance and management of the entity. Bylaws are legally binding and play a vital role in ensuring that the organization operates in a consistent, efficient and transparent manner.

The concept of bylaws has been around for centuries, originating from the medieval Latin word "bilādium" which means town laws. Over time, bylaws have evolved into the modern-day instruments that govern the internal affairs of corporations, associations, partnerships and other bodies. Bylaws are typically established when an entity is formed and are amended from time to time as the need arises. Bylaws can cover a wide range of topics, including the appointment and roles of officers, the conduct of meetings, voting procedures, financial reporting, and dispute resolution.

Examples of Bylaws

  1. A non-profit organization adopts bylaws specifying the number and qualifications of its board members, their term of office, meeting frequency, and duties and responsibilities.

  2. An engineering firm's bylaws include provisions for the election of officers, the quorum required for meetings, and the procedures for amending the bylaws.

  3. A homeowners' association adopts bylaws outlining the rights and obligations of its members, the assessment of fees, and the enforcement of rules and regulations.

  4. A university's bylaws establish the authority and duties of the president, the responsibilities of faculty and staff, and the procedures for disciplinary action.

  5. A business partnership's bylaws specify the allocation of profits and losses among the partners, the procedures for transferring ownership, and the dissolution of the partnership.

Legal Terms Similar to Bylaws

  1. Articles of Incorporation - the legal document that establishes a corporation and defines its purpose, powers, and structure.

  2. Operating Agreement - the legal agreement that governs the internal affairs of a limited liability company.

  3. Constitution - the fundamental principles and laws that govern a nation or other organization.

  4. Charter - the document that grants certain rights and privileges to an organization, such as the authority to operate as a corporation or to conduct business in a particular location.

  5. Rules and Regulations - a set of specific directives or standards that apply to a particular field, such as labor laws or environmental regulations.