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22 Examples of Business Rules

Business rules are bright line business directives. These resolve to true or false but may link into more flexible guidelines, policies and processes that allow for grey areas and human decision making. Business rules are commonly used to automate work, establish internal controls and document unambiguous work procedures. The following are illustrative examples of a business rule.


Work procedures that are written in reasonably unambiguous terms can be considered business rules. For example:
Inspect the part, if it is damaged move it to recycling.

Cut each 2x4 to 8 feet 2 inches.

If the customer has a business class ticket, they are entitled to rebook up to 20 minutes before departure with no penalty or fees.

When a customer enters the store, greet them.

If the customer's coupon has expired, explain this, give them the newest coupon book and help them to select a valid coupon to apply to their purchase.


Policies such as an employee handbook or customer agreement may include business rules. For example:
An employee is not eligible for vacation in their first 3 months of employment.

An employee's manager has authority to deny a vacation request.

When a vacation request is denied, the employee may request reconsideration based on urgent need. Reconsideration requests are handled by human resources and the employee's manager has no authority to deny these requests.

Employees shall not connect data storage devices to corporate computing devices such as servers, laptops, tablets and phones.

Travel expenses exceeding $4,000 per trip must be pre-approved by your manager.


Business rules are commonly automated. This automation can involve human steps. For example, routing a document to a manager for approval.
If the customer's credit score is over 800 the application is approved.

If the customer's credit score is over 600 and under 800 the application is submitted for manual review.

If the customer's credit score is less than 600 the application is denied.

If the internal temperature is over 200°F the device switches into low power mode.

If the project plan is valid, submit it to the project review board for approval.


The automated validation of user input or input from another system.
If the applicant's age is less than 18 the form can't be submitted.

If the expense is greater than $50 a receipt must be attached.

If the email address doesn't contain exactly one @ character then reject the address as invalid.

If the first name is longer than 50 characters then reject it as invalid.

Internal Controls

Internal controls are systems, processes and procedures that are put in place to ensure that an organization is compliant with laws, regulations and its own policies. These are often business rules.
If a project budget is over $50,000 it must gain the approval of the project review board to proceed.

If a contractor or employee doesn't have the required personal protective equipment then they will not be allowed on site.

The salary of a new hire is negotiated and set by human resources and requires the direct approval of the CFO.
Overview: Business Rules
Definition (1)
Bright line business directives.
Definition (2)
Unambiguous business directives that resolve to true or false.
Definition (3)
Business directives that are clearly stated such that compliance or noncompliance with the rule is unambiguous.
Related Concepts

Business Requirements

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business requirements.
Behavioral Requirements
Business Case
Business Rules
Functional Requirements
Missing Requirements
Process Requirements
Product Requirements
Requirements Analysis
Requirements Quality
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Company Capabilities

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Situation Analysis

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Context Of The Organization

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