A de jure corporation is a corporation whose legal right to exist cannot be questioned even by the state. De jure is a Latin term that means “by right” or “rightfully such.” Ordinarily, a de jure corporation is established by complying with all of the constitutional or statutory requirements of a particular governmental entity, thereby entirely and legally perfecting in its ability to transact business. One example of a statutory requirement is complying with a state incorporation statute by filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State in which incorporation is desired and paying the necessary fees.
In contrast, a de facto corporation is a corporation who has engaged in a bona fide attempt to organize but is nonetheless defective and insufficiently organized. For instance, a corporation that begins business before all of its minimum capital stock is subscribed is a de facto corporation, not de jure.
[Last updated in January of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]