Many people use the terms “Rules” and “By-Laws” interchangeably. They are similar, but have basic differences. You might think of the difference this way: By-laws are like our Constitution, and Rules are like our laws.
Rules (sometimes called “guidelines” or “regulations”) are for the day-to-day operation of the markets. They are often changed a little bit each year during the market’s winter meetings, to reflect new opening dates, a new treasurer, a change in the dues, etc.
By-laws define the structure of the association of farmers which operates the farmers’ market, and once in place are rarely amended. By-laws generally include a definition of officers and their job descriptions and powers, the general purpose of the association, what to do with assets upon dissolution of the association, and so forth.
Most markets have rules; many have by-laws, as well. Those few markets that are incorporated always have both.
There are several example of market rules and by-laws accessible from the menu above.
Please send us a copy (preferably via email) of your market’s current Rules and By-Laws so we can post them here.