De Facto

Definition - What does De Facto mean?

Translated from Latin, de facto means "in fact."

As a legal term, it is used to describe an entity or process that exists even though it wasn't created through – or didn't result from – legally or officially sanctioned methods.

Because it is such a broad term, it can be used in many contexts, but is most often used to describe certain businesses, governments or government leaders.

Justipedia explains De Facto

Legally, someone who takes control of a region or country by force and forms a new government without proper authorization has created a de facto government. Because they didn't come to power through legal means, the dictator will also be classified as a de facto leader. Any new rules and regulations established by the new government will also be regarded as de facto laws.

In a business context, a company that is incorporated without following all of the proper legal procedures is regarded as a de facto corporation.

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