- Be a man who comes of his own free will.
- Believe in a Supreme Being. (The form of which is left to open interpretation by the candidate)
- Be at least the minimum age (from 18–25 years old depending on the jurisdiction).
- Be of good morals, and of good reputation.
- Be of sound mind and body (Lodges had in the past denied membership to a man because of a physical disability, however, now, if a potential candidate says a disability will not cause problems, it will not be held against him).
- Be freeborn (or "born free", i.e. not born a slave or bondsman).
- As with the previous, this is entirely an historical holdover, and can be interpreted in the same manner as it is in the context of being entitled to write a will. Some jurisdictions have removed this requirement.
- Have character references, as well as one or two references from current Masons, depending on jurisdiction.
Deviation from one or more of these requirements is generally the barometer of Masonic regularity or irregularity. However, an accepted deviation in some regular jurisdictions is to allow a Lewis (the son of a Mason), to be initiated earlier than the normal minimum age for that jurisdiction, although no earlier than the age of 18.