Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

Purpose Clause

A purpose clause is a simple statement of intent that appears at the beginning of a part or subpart either as stand-alone section or as part of another section. The purpose clause is used to help the reader interpret the regulations.


§ 2.1 Purpose.
§ 5.1 Purpose and scope.


1. Include a purpose clause only when necessary. Use a purpose clause only when you know that some of your sections, due to their complex substance, are difficult to understand. If you need a purpose clause, draft it after you draft your regulations. Otherwise, it can become a crutch used to avoid resolving difficult substantive issues in the regulations.

2. Do not include a substantive rule within a purpose clause. A substantive rule belongs in the main body of the regulations. A reader may miss a rule tucked away in what should be limited to a simple statement of purpose.