Rules of Acquisition

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For the episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, see Rules of Acquisition (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).

The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by members of the ultra-capitalist alien species known as Ferengi.

In the Deep Space Nine episode titled "The Maquis: Part 1", Sakonna, a Vulcan, asked Quark to explain what a Rule of Acquisition was. He stated: "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. 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, in order 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,[3][1] not all of them have been stated in canon. Most of the rules were written by Ira Steven Behr and he published many of them in a book The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (ISBN 0-671-52936-6), the cover of which 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. Behr and Wolfe were both writers for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Behr being the Executive Producer of the series.[4]

In the Voyager episode False Profits is mentioned about the book: "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."

Stages of Acquisition[edit]

In addition to the Rules, Ferengi recognize five Stages of Acquisition:[5]

  1. Infatuation: An unreasoning love or attraction … "I want it."
  2. Justification: Moral excuse used to explain … "I must have it!"
  3. Appropriation: To take to one's self in exclusion of others … "IT'S MINE AT LAST!"
  4. Obsession: A compulsive or irrational preoccupation … "My Precious!"
  5. Resale: The action of selling something previously bought … "Make me an offer."


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

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