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EC115 Legal Environment of Business: Statutory & Regulatory Law

Guide to aid with the U.S. legal system and courts along with the role of law in business and personal decision-making.

Statutory & Regulatory Law

US statutory law consists of the laws passed by the legislature. For the federal government, it is the acts passed by the United States Congress. [For a more information on how this is done, see Learn About the Legislative Process].
For states, it is the acts passed by their individual legistlatures.

There are two kinds of acts: Public Laws and Private Laws.
  - Public laws relate to the general public
  - Private laws relate to specific institutions or individuals.

Regulatory, or administrative, law comes from the Executive Branch and its agencies, and independent regulatory agencies.
Agencies are given the authority to create administrative law through laws enacted by Congress and state legislatures. The law comes in the form of rules, regulations, procedures, orders, and decisions.
Agencies act in two roles:

  1. in a legislative-like capacity when promulgating rules and regulations;
  2. and in a judicial-like capacity when conducting hearings and issuing rulings and decisions on particular matters.

On the federal level, the process of administrative agency rule-making (from the initial notice to the promulgation of a final rule) is documented in two main titles of the Federal Register publication system: the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
State agency rule-making follows the same process (check by individual states).

Administrative Codes & Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations - CFR
  • Administrative rules passed by agencies
    • codification of the permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register
  • subject access to regulations
    • make and find comments
  • Nexis Uni and GovInfo
Federal Register
  • New and amended regulations
    • summary, explanatory and documentary information about the regulation
    • this can be of great importance in determining the meaning and application of a final rule and regulation
  • Access via :


Colorado revised statutes [online]

By States:

Constitutions, Statutes, and Codes (Legal Information Institute)
State Legislative Websites Directory (National Conference of State Legislatures)
Administrative Rules
State Legislatures, State Laws, and State Regulations