What names should LLCs use when completing Form W-9

What names should LLCs use when completing Form W-9

In the instructions section of IRS Form W-9 there is a “Specific Instructions” paragraph that provides guidance to LLCs with more than one member.  Line 1 is mandatory.  Line 2 is optional.

Line 1

You must enter one of the following on this line; do not leave this line blank. The name should match the name on your tax return. 

c. Partnership, LLC that is not a single-member LLC, C Corporation, or S Corporation. Enter the entity’s name as shown on the entity’s tax return on line 1 and any business, trade, or DBA name on line 2.

Line 2

If you have a business name, trade name, DBA name, or disregarded entity name, you may enter it on line 2.

See our blog article on Disregarded Entities for more information on LLCs with only one member.


4 Replies to “What names should LLCs use when completing Form W-9”

  1. Question for you. Do I need to enter the name of the LLC on line 2 if I have an EIN for the one-member LLC?

    Can I/should I also list a dba? I plan to create a dba that’s different from my LLC name, and I don’t want my clients to be confused by multiple names.

    I know my name goes on line 1, I’m just confused about what’s required on line 2 given the above.

    1. I am assuming that the LLC is a US entity owned by a single US individual. In this case the LLC is a single-member LLC disregarded for tax purposes. You would enter the name of the individual owner as shown on their tax return on Line 1. Line 2 is an optional field that typically shows the business name, trade name, DBA name, or entity’s legal name. Line 2 is really not used by the IRS but is aimed toward the person receiving the W-9 form to help them identify the vendor. So using the DBA name on Line 2 is fine. For additional information, see the sections titled “Line 1” and “Line 2” in the Specific Instructions on page 3 of Form W-9.

  2. What about LLCs that are owned by husband and wife in a community state? The LLC would consist of 2 members (husband and wife), but IRS allows to the LLC to be treated as disregarded entity (if husband and wife choose so). So when filling in W9, there is no single owner to list in Line 1 (as LLC consists of two members), so would it be correct to list the LLC name there and related EIN?

    Thank you in advance!

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