10 Better Ways To Say "Grandfathered" In Business (2023)

The term “grandfathered” in business is outdated and has incredibly offensive origins. That’s why it’s time to look into better alternatives. This article will explore some of the best alternatives out there and which ones are the best for you to use in place of “grandfathered.”

What Can I Say Instead Of “Grandfathered” In Business?

There are a few great words we can use in this case. Some of the ones we want to go through include:

  • Legacied
  • Heritaged
  • Tradition
  • Special case
  • Preauthorized
  • Preapproved
  • Excused
  • Exempted
  • Retained
  • Allowed
10 Better Ways To Say "Grandfathered" In Business (1)

The preferred version is “legacied.” We can use it to refer to anything that has been given a special exemption from new rules. Typically, this happens when something has special historical importance or when it’s too difficult to implement new rules.


“Legacied” is the best alternative for this situation. We can use it to show that rules have become part of a business’s “legacy.” This works well to show that you stand firm on the old rules, and new updates will not be able to change them.

Check out these examples to see how it works:

  • I’ve made sure to get these rules legacied by head office, so we don’t have to worry about changing them.
  • These changes do not affect us. Remember, we have legacied our main rules and operations.
  • These are legacied now, and I will make sure to keep them that way for the foreseeable future.


“Heritaged” works well when we want to show that we will not change our rules. If we have chosen to “heritage” our own rules (or someone has done it for us), it means they cannot be touched because they are of some importance to the company.

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This works well when you want to protect the way you used to run your business. It’s helpful to keep rules “heritage” when you don’t see the point in changing them to update them.

Here are some useful ways we can work it into our writing:

  • Three different rules have been heritaged by the union, and we’ll keep it that way.
  • These rules are now part of the heritage of this business, and I will not be asked why.
  • These are both heritaged, and I do not need to say more about it.


“Tradition” is a great way to show that old rules will not be changing. If the old rules are part of a company’s “tradition,” it means they rarely will change them, even if the new rules are inherently better than the old ones.

Even if it turns out that new rules will help the workforce or aid workflow, “tradition” will prohibit any change. This is most common for older companies that often don’t like to see too many changes in their ranks.

Here are some great ways for us to use it:

  • I’m sorry, but it’s a tradition that we do things this way.
  • I’m keeping the tradition as it is because I like the way things are.
  • This is our tradition, and we will not be told my corporate that we have to change anything around here!

Special Case

“Special case” is a good phrase we can use to replace “grandfathered.” We can use a “special case” whenever we have received an exception for something. It means that a case has been given special permissions to stay the same even with new proposals.

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Here are some great ways for us to use the phrase:

  • Don’t worry; I’ve made sure to put a special case forward for these rules. They won’t change anytime soon.
  • There is a special case in place for anyone who needs it. We’ll make sure to keep the transition as smooth as possible.
  • I’ve enabled a special case for the proposals on the system. We will not be upgrading until they fix their issues.


“Preauthorized” works when we’ve received special permission from someone higher up to keep our rules the same. When something is “authorized,” it means we have been given access to keep them the same. The “pre” prefix shows that it happened in the past.

We could always ask head office (or whoever ranks above us) for authorization in certain things. If they grant us this request, it gives us access to change things however we choose. This could sometimes apply to old rules.

These examples will help you to make a little more sense of it:

  • I have been preauthorized to keep these rules the same. No one will question my judgment on this matter.
  • Yes, all of these things are preauthorized now, which will be great for us when the next step occurs.
  • Don’t worry; I’ve made sure to preauthorize all the old rules we are used to working with.


“Preapproved” works when you want to show that old rules have been “approved” previously. We use the “pre” prefix to show that something has happened before. It means somebody has given us special exceptions from new rules put in place.

If a CEO or corporation puts new rules in place for all branches, it’s not uncommon for a branch manager to ask for preapproval on old rules. If they do not think the new ones will benefit them, the CEOs might try to give them some exceptions.

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Here are some helpful ways to see it work:

  • We’ve received word that these rules are preapproved, and there’s no reason to change them again.
  • Don’t worry; I made sure to get all of this preapproved, and everyone will work as normal.
  • This is preapproved now. Don’t bother arguing with the rules anymore.


“Excused” works when we want to show that new rules have not impacted old ones. If old rules are “excused,” it means they are not affected by whatever the new ones were supposed to bring, which helps us in many cases.

We can use “excused” as follows:

  • I have made sure that our rules are excused from this new idea because I do not see it helping us.
  • Yes, these rules are excused, and you’ll be thankful they are once you realize how confusing the new ones can be.
  • We have excused the rules listed below, so you can keep working in the same way you usually would.


“Exempted” is another great verb we can use. When rules are “exempted,” it means they’re given a special reason to avoid the new and updated rules. Even if they might seem like they go against the new rules, an “exemption” is a great loophole to use.

Here are some examples that might help you:

  • We have received word from the CEO that the new rules have exempted them from our company.
  • We’ve made sure that our old rules are exempted, meaning you will not have to change anything you do on your normal day.
  • We have exempted this company from outside interference. Unless we say so, there will be no more rule changes.


“Retained” is another verb we can use when rules have been kept the same. We can “retain” them when it is beneficial for us or the company to keep them the same as they previously were. This is ideal when we simply do not have the patience to learn new things.

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Here are some examples of how you could use it:

  • We have made sure these rules are retained until further notice.
  • No more questions about the retained rules now, guys. I think it’s time we move past them.
  • Yes, these have been retained, and I thank you for not asking me any more irrelevant questions about it.


“Allowed” isn’t one of the best choices, but we can use it to show that a previous rule was “allowed” to be accepted. While it might not follow the rules as intended, we can use “allowed” rules from before if they worked well for the company.

Here are some examples of how it might work:

  • They’ve allowed us to keep the same rules that apply in this method.
  • I have allowed these rules to stay unchanged because I believe the new ideas are too crude to get right.
  • Since we do not have the manpower, I have allowed the same rules to stay in place until I can justify the training costs.

What Does “Grandfathered” Mean In Business?

We’ve checked what all the best alternatives are. However, we thought we would quickly check out what the original meaning of the phrase is. After all, it’s not immediately obvious to non-natives or those not in the business world.

“Grandfathered” means that old rules are allowed to stay in place, even when new rules should come about that typically make those rules obsolete. This applies when someone grants an exception for old rules that otherwise would not have been found.

The main reason why anyone would “grandfather” rules in business is that they don’t like to change. If something new has been presented in their industry, they might have a slight aversion to trying to fit it in themselves.

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Alternatively, the cost of trying to educate the workforce on a new system might be too much. That’s why we sometimes have “grandfathered” rules in business. It helps with the overall workings and operations.

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What term can I use instead of grandfathering? ›

Inclusive replacements companies may use instead “grandfathered” include “exempted,” “excused,” “preapproved,” “preauthorized,” or “legacied.” As Maya Angelou so gracefully said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

What does grandfathered mean in business? ›

"Grandfathering" is allowing an existing operation or conduct to continue legally when a new operation or conduct would be illegal.

What is it called when something is grandfathered in? ›

A grandfather clause, also known as grandfather policy, grandfathering, or grandfathered in, is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases.

What is grandfathering in environment? ›

Emissions grandfathering maintains that prior emissions increase future emission entitlements. The view forms a large part of actual emission control frameworks, but is routinely dismissed by political theorists and applied philosophers as evidently unjust.

What does it mean to be grandfathered in to something? ›

/ˈɡrænfɑːðər/ us. (also grandfather sb/sth in) to allow someone to continue to do or to have something that a new law or rule makes illegal: Most existing companies will be grandfathered into the old system for up to five years. Many old bridges will suddenly be out of date but will be grandfathered in.

What does grandfathered mean in finance? ›

The dictionary definition of grandfathering is to exempt someone or something from a new law or regulation. In the financial advice context, grandfathering concerns investment commissions, superannuation commissions and insurance policies linked to super accounts.

What does grandfathered in mean at work? ›

Grandfathering occurs when an employee of tenure is locked into a certain level or type of benefit that is no longer offered to new hires. Although a fairly common /occurrence, it is not practiced everywhere.

What is a modern example of grandfathered in? ›

For example, consider a company that had an unlimited data plan, but only offers specific data plans now. The company may allow existing customers to keep their unlimited data plans, as long as they don't change the data plans themselves. They are grandfathered in under the old plan.

How do you use grandfathered in a sentence? ›

Grandfathered in a Sentence

1. The minimum employee age was raised from 18 to 21, but those under 21 who were already working at the casino were grandfathered in. 2. In 1920, major league baseball outlawed the spitball but grandfathered in some exempted players who had built their careers on the pitch.

How do you write a grandfather clause? ›

The grandfather clause is a statement that an organization makes to declare that, before a specific date, certain individuals or processes do not comply with company rules or regulations. The grandfather clause has three basic components: [Individual/process] + [area of grandfathering] + [date].

What is grandfathered obligation? ›

Grandfathered Obligations means the obligation was outstanding on July 1, 2014 and was disposed of after December 31, 2016; and any payment or any gross proceeds received from the disposition of such an obligation is not considered to be withholdable payment. Sample 1Sample 2.

What does it mean to grandfather a product? ›

In this second blog in our series on the risks of changing software pricing, I'll focus on a very risky pricing practice: grandfathering. Grandfathering allows existing customers to retain their current payment structure when you change pricing for new customers (you know the old adage, “just water under the bridge”).

What does grandfather clause mean history? ›

A half-dozen states passed laws that made men eligible to vote if they had been able to vote before African-Americans were given the franchise (generally, 1867), or if they were the lineal descendants of voters back then. This was called the grandfather clause.

What is grandfather rule in capital gain? ›

In the budget, there has been a proposal to grandfather investments made on or before 31 January 2018. What is the concept of Grandfathering? When a new clause or policy is added to a law, certain persons may be relieved from complying with the new clause. This is called “grandfathering”.

What is an example of grandfather rule? ›

For example, a grandfathered power plant might be exempt from new, more restrictive pollution laws, but the exception may be revoked and the new rules would apply if the plant were expanded.

What does grandfathered mean in technology? ›

It means to give benefits to old users that you have stopped giving to new users. For instance if your online service is completely free and then you restrict certain features for new users, you might grandfather old users into the premium plan to keep them happy (since it was free for them initially)

What does grandfather mean in accounting? ›

Grandfathered activities are non-bank operations that are considered illegal and not permissible, but are allowed to continue in certain cases, especially when those activities began before they were prohibited by the regulatory authorities.

What is grandfathering of a contract? ›

A grandfather clause is a portion of a statute, contract or regulation which provides that the legal document does not apply in certain circumstances. This is usually due to specific pre-existing facts. It means that whatever the old rules were prior to the implementation of new rules will continue to apply.

What is grandfathering benefits? ›

[Hoffman]To 'grandfather' a benefit means that an employee is locked into a certain level of benefit accrual or type of benefit that is not being given to new employees.

What does grandfathered in mean slang? ›

grandfather in

To exempt certain people or businesses from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before.

When was the term grandfather first used? ›

grandfather (n.) early 15c., from grand- + father (n.), probably on analogy of French grand-père. Replaced grandsire and Old English ealdefæder. Grandfather clause originally (1899) referred to exemptions from post-Reconstruction voting restrictions (literacy, property tax) in the U.S.

What does grandfather mean as a verb? ›

verb. /ˈɡrænˌfɑðər/ Verb Forms. to give or be given official permission not to obey a new law or regulation that one would normally be required to obey grandfather somebody/something Workers who were here before the cut in benefits went into effect will be automatically grandfathered.

How do you address a grandfather? ›

Traditional Grandfather Names
  1. Big Daddy.
  2. Big Paw.
  3. Grandfather.
  4. Grandpa.
  5. Grampa.
  6. Grandpappy.
  7. Gramps.
  8. Granddad.
Jan 1, 2023

Where did the term grandfathered in come from? ›

In other words, when these clauses became part of the law, in the late 19th century, you were most likely automatically allowed to vote, even if you were illiterate, if your grandfather had been allowed to vote a few decades earlier, before 1867. The poor illiterate whites had become grandfathered in.

At what age do you no longer have to pay capital gains? ›

Current tax law does not allow you to take a capital gains tax break based on age. In the past, the IRS allowed people over the age of 55 a tax exemption for home sales. However, this exclusion was closed in 1997 in favor of the expanded exemption for all homeowners.

How do I avoid large capital gains tax? ›

How to Minimize or Avoid Capital Gains Tax
  1. Invest for the long term. ...
  2. Take advantage of tax-deferred retirement plans. ...
  3. Use capital losses to offset gains. ...
  4. Watch your holding periods. ...
  5. Pick your cost basis.

How much can you inherit before capital gains? ›

Make the inherited property your primary residence.

The Section 121 Exclusion allows a taxpayer to exclude up to $250,000 (or $500,000 on joint returns) of the capital gain from the sale if they live in the property for at least two of the five years before the sale.

What is a sentence for grandfather clause? ›

Example Sentences

Because of a grandfather clause, the strict emission standards only apply to new cars.

What is the opposite of grandfathering? ›

Noun. ▲ Opposite of a person from whom one is descended, typically from several generations past. descendant. descendent.

What does it mean to be grandfathered into a job? ›

Grandfathering occurs when an employee of tenure is locked into a certain level or type of benefit that is no longer offered to new hires. Although a fairly common /occurrence, it is not practiced everywhere.

Why is grandfather clause important? ›

The Grandfather Clause was a legal or constitutional mechanism passed by seven Southern states during Reconstruction to deny suffrage to Blacks. It meant that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting.

Where does the phrase grandfathered in come from? ›

In other words, when these clauses became part of the law, in the late 19th century, you were most likely automatically allowed to vote, even if you were illiterate, if your grandfather had been allowed to vote a few decades earlier, before 1867. The poor illiterate whites had become grandfathered in.

What does IT mean to grandfather a product? ›

In this second blog in our series on the risks of changing software pricing, I'll focus on a very risky pricing practice: grandfathering. Grandfathering allows existing customers to retain their current payment structure when you change pricing for new customers (you know the old adage, “just water under the bridge”).


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