Bona Fide Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bona Fide, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bona Fide?

(n) Bona Fide is the state of mind while doing an act, entering a contract or transaction where in such activities are done with good intention, without knowing the defects involved. Bonafide intention is a pre-condition for validity of a contract. The absence of which may tender the contract void at the instance of the affected party.

History and Meaning of Bona Fide

Bona Fide is a Latin legal term that means "in good faith" or "sincere." Under legal circumstances, Bona Fide implies the presence of honesty, openness, and fairness in transactions or contracts. The term is primarily used to describe a person's intent, state of mind, or belief when involved in specific activities.

Examples of Bona Fide

  1. A buyer who genuinely believes they are purchasing an original artwork for an appropriate price is acting in Bona Fide.
  2. When a leader signs a contract on behalf of their country with the belief that it will be beneficial to their nation, they are said to be acting in Bona Fide.
  3. Bona Fide is significant in the context of employment law. If an employer can make a reasonable and honest case for dismissing an employee, they are considered to be acting in Bona Fide.

Legal Terms Similar to Bona Fide

  1. Good faith: This term is used to describe lawful honesty and fair dealing that a person needs to execute during a business or legal transaction. They must act ethically and without knowledge of wrongdoing.
  2. Estoppel: Estoppel is a judicial procedure that bars a party from denying or alleging something that contradicts what they once admitted as true.
  3. Res Ipsa Loquitur: In legal cases, this Latin term means "the thing speaks for itself." A situation where the burden of proof shifts to the defendant as the facts imply that no one else might have acted except the defendant.