In support of the rules of life grant (NSF #EF-2133863) on universal laws of regulation, we aim to develop a unified science of regulatory functions and its associated structure. Our workshop will bring researchers from economics, biology, sociology, engineering, physics, the law and organization theory, together with practitioners from the corporate and administrative world to ask: What are categories of regulatory costs in gene, nervous systems, firms, cities and nations? What are the driving factors behind regulatory costs? Can we develop science-based metrics for the appropriate or optimal size of bureaucracy or regulatory mechanisms for a given functionality or output? While these questions, and the systems they apply to, seem quite diverse, we argue that the answers can be obtained from a unifying framework that is focused on regulatory network architectures. We will identify regulatory costs for each system and build a unified category system of regulatory functions across different systems. The workshop outcome will be input for the unified model under the SFI research theme ‘Law of Life’.