Independent Contractors & W-9 Forms

Whenever you do work for a company as an independent contractor, they should ask you to fill out a W-9.  This document is used by the company to file 1099s for individuals and non-corporate entities to whom they have paid more than $600 in a calendar year. Independent contractor services include but are not limited to janitorial work, bookkeeping, lawn care, even paying rent if you rent from an individual and not a corporation. The W-9 is a quick and simple form to fill out. The information you put on a W-9 should match the information on your tax return.

Line 1: This is your legal name.

Line 2: If you operate a sole proprietorship under another name, such as LMNOP Bookkeeping, that goes on line 2.

Line 3: Check the box that corresponds with your entity type.

Line 4: This is only filled out in special circumstances by entities, not individuals.

Lines 5 & 6: The address you enter should match the address on your tax return.

You do not have to fill out the requester’s name and address.

Part I

For an individual, you will fill in your social security number.

For a sole proprietorship, fill in either the owner’s social security number or EIN if you have one.

For LLC’s classified as corporations or partnerships, fill in the LLC’s EIN.

Part II

Read the four points you are certifying, then sign and date the document.

That’s it, you are done. Now you can give the form back to the entity requesting it. As with any tax document or document with personal information, make sure you are sending it in a secure fashion.


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