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de facto corporation

n. a company which operates as if it were a corporation although it has not completed the legal steps to become incorporated (has not filed its articles, for example) or has been dissolved or suspended but continues to function. The court temporarily treats the corporation as if it were legal in order to avoid unfairness to people who thought the corporation was legal.

See also: de facto  de jure  ultra vires 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications