Rulemaking, How It Works

Rulemaking is the process that federal agencies use to make rules. Some rulemaking implements laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. Other rulemaking updates rules under existing laws or creates new rules within an agency’s existing authority that the agency believes are needed. The process is designed to give members of the public an opportunity to provide their opinions.

Proposing Release or Rule Proposal. The rulemaking process usually begins with a proposal, which is published for public notice and comment. A proposing release typically contains the text of the proposed new or amended rule along with a discussion of the issue or problem the proposal is designed to address. The SEC considers the public’s input on the proposal as it determines its next steps.

Concept Release.  Sometimes the SEC seeks public input with a concept release before issuing a proposed rule. A concept release typically outlines the topic of concern, identifies different potential approaches, and raises a series of questions inviting public comment on the matter. The public’s feedback is taken into consideration as the SEC decides which approach, if any, is appropriate.

 Adopting Release or Rule Adoption. The adopting release and final rule reflect the SEC’s consideration of the public comments. The new rule or rule amendment becomes part of the official SEC rules.

Learn more.