Tell me more about the terms used on the Brex application

Shell companies

A shell company is a corporation without active business operations or significant assets, where the true business ownership isn’t revealed. Shell companies don’t create products, sell products, or generate revenue. If your company doesn’t have customers/relations with shell companies, please answer No to this question on your application.

Business one-pager

During the application process, Brex requires a description of your business. This description can be submitted in PDF format, as a one-page document, or a sales deck that summarizes the core details of your business and its product/service offering.

Alternatively, we'll accept a brief statement (three to four sentences) that provides an overview of your business.

Company website

If your company does not have a company website yet, you can enter to move forward with your application. To provide our team with the information they will need to review your application, please reach out to our support team with a business one-pager.

Once you establish a website, it's important that you contact Brex Support so that your account can be updated accordingly.

Beneficiary owner and controlling officer

In order to meet regulatory obligations and prevent money laundering, we’re required to collect the identifying information belonging to the beneficial owners and controlling officers of any company that opens an account with us.

A beneficial owner is an individual person who owns 25% or more of the company in question.

A controlling officer is a natural person who possesses significant responsibility to control, manage, or direct a legal entity customer. (For example, a Chief Executive or Senior Manager.)


An EIN is an “Employer Identification Number” or a nine-digit number that is issued by the IRS and used to uniquely identify legal entities operating in the United States. Think of it as a Social Security Number (SSN) for your business.

Companies must be incorporated as an independent legal entity, like an LLC or S-Corp, to apply for an EIN. The IRS uses this number to keep track of business tax return filers.

If you're operating your company as a sole proprietor and are not yet incorporated, or need help applying for an EIN, our partner LegalZoom can help get you set up today!

Brex will offset the cost of your LegalZoom business formation package (state fees will still apply) via rewards points once you’re approved for an account and spend $1,000 in your first 90 days. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, go through the sign-up flow at and select “No” when asked if you’re incorporated.

EIN reimbursement will be in the form of Brex Points. Brex does not provide, nor does it guarantee, any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation. The third parties providing these products or services are solely responsible for them, as well as their privacy policies and all other content on their websites. Brex is not liable for any third party’s failure with regard to those advertised products, services, and benefits. You should check individual offers, products, and services to become familiar with any applicable restrictions or conditions that may apply. Brex may receive compensation from third parties for referring you to them or their products.

Certificate of good standing

To learn more about what a certificate of good standing is and how to get one, please read this Gusto help center article.

IRS letter

Brex uses an IRS letter (form CP 575 or 147-C) to verify your business name and Employer Identification Number. To successfully upload this document on your dashboard, please ensure it meets the following specifications:

  • The document is in PDF format.

  • The image is clear and the document is in full frame.

  • The correct form is being used as per the example below.

CX: irs-letter-1
CX: irs-letter-2

If you’re having trouble finding your letter, check with your accountant, or request a copy of the letter from the IRS.

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