Help for LLC owners: IRS Form W-9 Instructions for an LLC

 

If you own an LLC and are filling out IRS Form W-9 for the first time, you might get stuck on this section near the beginning of the form:

IRS Form W-9 states “Check appropriate box for federal tax classification” and the options include: Individual/sole proprietor, C Corporation, S Corporation, Partnership, Trust/estate, Limited liability company, and Other.

 

If a business is an LLC, here is how to answer the section of W9 above:

  1. If an LLC has elected to be taxed as an S corporation (by filing IRS Form 2553), the LLC’s tax status is “S corporation,” so check “Limited Liability Company” and write S in the blank to the right.
  2. If an LLC has elected to be taxed as a C corporation (by filing IRS Form 8832), the LLC’s tax status is “C corporation,” so check “Limited Liability Company” and write C in the blank to the right.

If the LLC has not filed forms to elect to be taxed as either an S Corporation or C Corporation, these default rules apply:

  1. If an LLC has one owner, the LLC’s default tax status is a disregarded entity. A disregarded entity is any business that is considered separate from its owner for legal purposes but not for taxation. If a single-member LLC does not affirmatively elect to be taxed as a corporation, it will be taxed as though the business is a sole proprietorship.

To complete this portion of the W9, fill in your personal name in the Name block, your company’s name in the Business name block, your company’s address in the address block, and check the box labeled: “Individual/sole proprietor.”

  1. If an LLC has two owners, the LLC’s default tax status is “partnership.” So check LLC, and enter P for Partnership.

If your LLC is owned by a business (such as another LLC), these guides do not apply. If your LLC is owned by a business, please note that you should see the instructions for this form or consult with a tax professional such as a CPA or tax attorney.