Instantly Complete & Download Your W-9 Form

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Get your IRS Form W-9 in 3 easy steps

  • 01 Fill and edit template Fill and edit template
  • 02 Sign it online Sign it online
  • 03 Export or print immediately Export or print immediately

Filling Out the Blank W-9 Form

First of all, take a look at this W9 example. This is how a filled pdf would look like in most cases.

W-9 form example

With PDFLiner you can finish the document in a couple of minutes and email it to the requester straight from the editor.

Step 1: Gather necessary info

Before beginning, make sure to have all the requested info. This includes your Employer ID Number or Social Security Number. Sometimes, businesses may require additional information, such as the name of your business, entity tax type, or exemption codes.

Step 2: Add legal name and/or business name

Enter your full legal name as it appears on your Social Security card or other official documents. If you are operating under a different business name, include that as well.

For instance, if your legal name is John Doe and your freelance graphic design business is called "Doe Designs," write "John Doe" on the first line and "Doe Designs" on the second line.

Step 3: Pick federal tax classification

Check the appropriate box for you in the third line. If you are a contractor or freelancer, check the "Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC" box.

For businesses with more than one shareholder, there are other options:

  • C corporation has an unlimited number of investors or shareholders, and the corporation's and each investor's income should be reported separately.
  • S corporations are limited to 100 shareholders. In this case, the profits and losses of the corporation are passed through to the shareholders, who report them on their tax returns. 
  • Partnership is a business entity where two or more people share ownership and profits of the company.
  • Trust/estate is for legal entities responsible for filing tax returns and paying any taxes the trust or estate owes.

In our example, John Doe would check the first box since he runs a freelance graphic design business.

Step 4: Enter exemptions (Optional)

In most cases, you would leave this section blank. However, if you have any applicable exemption codes based on your business type or tax situation, enter them in the designated fields. Provide the suitable code if you are from backup withholding or get a specific tax exemption.

Step 5: Add your address

Fill in your mailing details, giving the house number, street name, city, state, and ZIP code. This address is where the payer will send any necessary tax paperwork, such as 1099 forms. In this example, John Doe would enter his home address since he works from home.

Step 6: Provide taxpayer ID number (TIN)

Here you get 2 options, add Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN), depending on your business type. For most freelancers and sole proprietors, an SSN will suffice. However, provide your EIN if you have a separate legal entity for your business, such as an LLC or corporation. 

Since John Doe operates as a sole proprietor, he would enter his SSN.

Step 7: Certify the fillable W-9 form

W-9 form certification example

After filling in all the required fields, review the document carefully for accuracy. Make sure you haven't forgotten any sections and provided the correct information. 

Once you've double-checked the form, sign and date it at the bottom to certify that the information you provided is correct and that you are not subject to backup withholding.

More Real-Life Examples

Example 1: Freelance writer - Sole proprietor

Form W-9 second example screenshot

Samantha is a freelance writer recently hired by a marketing agency to work on several projects. The agency requests Samantha complete a W-9 form before they can process her payments. 

Samantha downloads W-9 form 2023 and starts filling it out. She enters her full legal name, "Samantha Smith," as it appears on her Social Security card. Since she operates under the "Smith Creative Designs" business name, she writes that in the second line. As a sole proprietor, she checks the "Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC" box. 

Samantha doesn't have any exemptions, so she skips that section. She provides her mailing address, which is also her home address since she has a home office. Finally, Samantha enters her Social Security Number as her TIN. After reviewing and signing the document, she emails the completed and printable W-9 form to the marketing agency.

Example 2: Contractor - IT consultant - single-member LLC

W-9 form example for LLC

Michael is an IT consultant who owns an LLC called "Tech Solutions." A company has recently contracted him to help upgrade its network infrastructure. Before the payment for his services, the company requests Michael to provide a completed W-9 form.

Michael finds the fillable W-9 form at PDFLiner and starts filling it out. He enters his LLC's legal name, "Tech Solutions LLC," in the first line as his Legal Name and leaves the second line blank because his Business Name is the same. Since his business is a single-member LLC, he checks the first box for his federal tax classification.

Michael doesn't have any exemptions, so he leaves that section blank. He provides the mailing address of his registered business office, where he would like to receive any tax documents from the company. Michael writes his EIN as the Taxpayer Identification Number because he owns an LLC.

Note: If you owe a single-member LLC and don’t have any employees, you don’t have to get EIN; you can use your SSN instead.

After carefully checking everything, Michael e-signs it and adds a current date to certify the accuracy of the information provided. He then submits the printable W-9 form to the company that contracted his services.

Samantha and Michael completed and submitted their W9s, providing the necessary information to their respective clients. This process ensures they comply with tax regulations and can be accurately compensated for their freelance and contractor work.

Form Versions

2017 Fillable Form W-9 for 2017 tax year Fill Out Form

Fillable online IRS Form W-9
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