Difference Between Bylaws and Constitution

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between Bylaws and Constitution Difference Between Bylaws and Constitution

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A basic set of rules is essential for any community or organisation to function effectively. There are many types of these rules and regulations. Two such documents, the constitution and bylaws, are intended to set out principles of conduct. Although they may appear similar, the nature and operation of these two documents is quite different.

Although they are sometimes confused as terms that have the same meaning, Constitution and Bylaws can be confusing as they are both terms that refer to different meanings. A constitution is a type of document that is made on behalf of an organization or group of people. It establishes criteria such as eligibility, qualification, and duties. A constitution is a set of rules and regulations that must be followed by members of an organization. Bylaws, on the other hand, are the rules and regulations that must be observed every day. Bylaws are the rules and regulations that govern the day-to-day operations of institutions or organizations. This is the primary difference between the two words: constitution and bylaws.

Constitution vs Bylaws

The difference between the constitution and bylaws is that they are more specific. Bylaws can, for example, specify the rules and procedures that a company's members should follow. The constitution, on the other hand, is much more general. The constitution serves, for example, to fulfill the aspirations and goals of citizens.

A set of rules that form the foundation of an organization or community are called bylaws. They are usually limited in their application. Bylaws can also be written rules that are very specific. It is important that the bylaws are written in a clear and precise manner. It should not allow for any flexibility or variation in the interpretation of the bylaws.

A Constitution is a set of basic principles or rules that an organization or community must follow. The Constitution can be written or unwritten. India's constitution is the longest in the world. Mexico, however, has the shortest constitution.

Difference Between Constitution and Bylaws in Tabular Form

Table: Constitution vs Bylaws
Parameters for Comparison
A bylaw is any law or rule that an organization has created for the purpose it of regulating itself.
A constitution is a legal document that contains rules and regulations. These are the norms and moral codes of conduct.
The bylaws must be interpreted and enforced by a higher authority.
The Constitution is the highest authority level.
Bylaws have a specific nature.
The Constitution is general in its nature.
Local governments create bylaws.
The federal government creates the Constitution.
Written documents are called bylaws.
The Constitution can be written or unwritten.

So as we have discussed in brief the Difference between Constitution and Bylaws, we are going to dive deep into the topic and discuss the definition, structure and all other differences and similarities between both.

A constitution is a legal document that outlines the basic principles by which an organization is recognized to be managed. Bylaws are rules that an organization uses to regulate the actions of its members.

What are Bylaws?

Bylaws are any rule or law that an organization has created to govern itself. Most often, bylaws will be set by a higher authority. The control bylaws can be exercised by institutions such as the legislature or government. A municipality, a business corporation or a locality are examples of organizations that could establish bylaws.

The first step in creating bylaws is when a company or organisation becomes a reality. These bylaws are usually set of written rules. Bylaws are designed to facilitate the smooth running of a company or organisational tasks. Different companies and organisations may have different bylaws.

These bylaws cover issues such as the purpose of the organization's creation, its member's composition, the duties of the board, the election process, tenure, and the procedure for their removal. It is important that the bylaws are precise. It prevents any flexible interpretation or variation of the bylaws. It also prevents company disturbances from rules misuse.

It is important to ensure that the bylaws do not contradict the constitution when drafting them. The last section of the bylaws document allows for amendments. The last section of the bylaws document outlines the procedure for amending, who can initiate them and how many votes are required to approve. Bylaws are a way to ensure that an organization is in compliance with its rules and maintains discipline.

Why do we need bylaws?

Although the constitution covers the basic principles, it does not set out specific procedures for running your organization. The bylaws outline the rules and procedures that your group must adhere to in order to run their business in an orderly fashion. These bylaws provide additional definitions to the Articles of the Constitution and can be modified easily as the organization's needs change.

What should be in the bylaws?

These bylaws should outline the procedures and steps for implementing the provisions of the constitution. The constitution must be cited in any bylaws.

All About By-laws

By-laws can be described as "a form of delegated legislation, primarily made by local authorities."

This definition is key and distinguishes a bylaw from others. This basically means that a higher authority has given the local authority the power to pass such a law. By-laws are only applicable to a specific area and do not apply across the country.

To ensure proper management of the country, delegated legislation is necessary. The US Constitution gives Congress law-making authority, but Congress can't ensure that all the necessary laws are passed country-wide to apply to every state and each municipality. Local municipalities are given the law-making power, subject to all previous laws.

What is Constitution?

The constitution is a legal document consisting of rules and regulations. These are the norms and codes of conduct. A constitution serves many purposes in society. It usually consists of two fundamental principles and one directive principle of state policies.

The Constitution provides assurance and coordination. It establishes rules that ensure a minimum level of coordination among members of a community. The constitution also specifies who is able to make decisions and how the organisation will be created. To prevent misuse of power, the constitution places limitations on the authority of individuals and groups within an organization.

A constitution can be created for a company or a country. It can be written or unwritten and is often a part of the federal government. The Constitution of a country also outlines the rules and laws of conduct.

The Constitution can be amended to include certain laws or rules. A constitution can also include some laws that are permanent and rigid. A constitution is a foundational component for a large country or community. A constitution is a guideline that ensures harmonious coexistence within a community.

United States Constitution

The United States of America considers the US Constitution its supreme law. It was enacted in 1789. This Constitution established (and continues to define the framework of) the federal government of the United States. The US Constitution establishes the principle of separation of powers among the three spheres, namely:

  1. The legislative sphere or Congress is divided by the House of Representatives (the Senate) is responsible for making laws. It is defined in article 1 of the US Constitution.
  2. The executive branch, which includes the offices of the President and Vice President, sets the rules and procedures for electing President. It is established according to article 2 of the US Constitution.
  3. The judicial sphere is the US Supreme Court and is established by article 3 of the US Constitution.

Why do we need a constitution?

An organization can be defined as "a group of people organized for a specific purpose" and includes a structure, rules, and guidelines. This will allow potential members and members to get a better understanding of the organization's purpose and its operation. It will make drafting the constitution much more enjoyable and easier if you remember the importance of having a written document that clearly explains the structure of your organization.

Difference Between Constitution and the Bylaws in Points

Definition of Constitution and Bylaws

The Constitution is the principal document of an organisation that determines its fundamental aspects. The Bylaws define the basic principles of the organization and provide the guidelines for the day-to-day work of the organization.


A constitution usually includes the organization of company meetings, rights and shares of shareholders, execution of company documents and appointment, power and removal of directors. On the other hand, bylaws address issues such as the purpose of an organization, members, responsibilities, election of board members, terms of office and board and shareholder meetings and how the board functions.


The constitution is the basis of bylaws. Bylaws are therefore governed by the constitution.

Capacity to Change

The constitution should contain fundamentals that will not be altered. Bylaws should include the ability to amend them.

Particular Nature

The constitution covers the basic aspects of the organization. This can sometimes mean that it is not always very precise. The bylaws are more precise.

These are the main differences between a constitution or bylaws. Although they may be two separate documents, they are closely related. Without a constitution, there won't be any bylaws. Both are vital for the functioning of an organization.

Structure: Constitution and Bylaws

Organizations need to have basic rules in order to be successful. Most groups have a constitution or bylaws that are the basis of their rules. The constitution contains the basic principles that govern a group's operations. These bylaws set out the guidelines that will guide the group's operation. UWM has created a simplified charter application form. This combines the two documents. See the next page for a sample chapter of a student organization. Complex organizations should keep their bylaws and constitutions separate.

Constitutions and amendments to them must be approved by 2/3 of the members in a special election. If the quorum is present, bylaws or changes to them can be made at any regular meeting by a 2/3 vote. Changes to the bylaws should be presented at one meeting, and then voted upon at another. Each document should include the procedure for making changes or amends.

In short, the summary of diffrences is below.

  1. A bylaw is any law or rule that a community has created to govern itself. The constitution, on the other hand, is a legal document that contains rules and regulations to specify norms of behaviour and a code of moral conduct.
  2. Written versions of the bylaws can be found here. The constitution, on the other hand, is available in both written and non-written formats.
  3. Bylaws can be specific. The constitution, on the other hand, is more general.
  4. Local governments create bylaws. The Constitution, however, is created by the federal government.
  5. Bylaws should be governed by a higher authority. The Constitution, on the other hand, is at the highest level.


There are some similarities between these two testaments to your group's design. Each contains guidance that you and members should follow when making decisions about the organization's operation operations. Holden Leadership Center warns that bylaws should not conflict with provisions of the constitution. Bylaws are based upon the constitution and the bylaws are the means by which the constitution is implemented. Your group will run smoothly and effectively if you know the differences and key similarities between a constitution, and its bylaws.


In summary, bylaws are different from constitutions in terms of their scope, function, nature, intensity, and role. Bylaws are very specific. The constitution, on the other hand, is more general. Written versions of the bylaws can be found here. The constitution, on the other hand, is available in both written and non-written formats. It is often a part of the federal government.

Both constitutions and bylaws can be amended. A constitution may contain laws that are not subject to amendment. Both the bylaws as well as the constitution are intended to promote harmony and prevent conflicts. In conclusion, both constitutions and bylaws can have similarities and differences.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MYptAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA51&dq=constitution+&ots=ULaU23iWm0&sig=BP4h2q3nOrwXVQP5_1T5IejH_74
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3782083



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"Difference Between Bylaws and Constitution." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-bylaws-and-constitution-172>.

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