How to Fill Out a W-9 if You Are an S-Corporation

If you're ever asked to fill out a W-9 for your S-Corporation, it's because your company is receiving some type of payment for which the payer may need to report on an information return, such as a 1099. Preparing the W-9 isn't overly complex, but there are a couple of issues that are relevant to S-Corporation that you may want to be aware of first.


Step 1

Enter the S-Corporation's legal name on the first line of the W-9. If your business entity is a corporation or LLC, you'll use the same legal name that you included on the LLC formation or incorporation documents that were filed.

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Step 2

Input any trade name for the business on the "Business name/disregarded entity" line. Depending on the jurisdiction where the S-Corporation operates, the trade name may also be referred to as a "DBA" or "fictitious business name," which you may have registered with your local government office. For example, if your corporation's legal name is ABC, Inc., but you operate a pizzeria under the name "Tony's Pizzeria," the latter is the trade name.


Step 3

Mark the "S Corporation" box as the business' federal tax classification.

Step 4

Check the "exempt payee" box if the S-Corporation isn't subject to tax withholding. Corporations are generally exempt from withholding for most types of payments, with the exception of those that relate to broker transactions, barter exchanges and fees for the provision of medical and legal services.



Step 5

Provide the S-Corporation's employer identification number in the "Taxpayer Identification Number" section. You should never enter a shareholder's or corporate officer's Social Security number.

Step 6

Sign the certification statement. An officer or other authorized representative of the S-Corporation should sign the statement. However, if the business is subject to tax withholding, you'll need to cross out the second certifying statement before signing.


In most cases, it’s legal corporations rather than LLCs that take advantage of S-Corporation elections, since LLCs are eligible for most of the tax benefits of an S-Corporation without making the election. But if the S-Corporation’s underlying entity is an LLC, you’ll mark the “limited liability company” box in the tax classification section instead of the “S-Corporation” box above it. When you check the box, you’ll also need to manually enter the letter “S” on the right.

When you finish filling out the W-9 form, it isn’t necessary to file it with the IRS. Instead, just send it back to the person or company that requested it. The payer needs the S-Corporation’s information to prepare an information return, if necessary, and retains the W-9 in his records.

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