On a W9 which line denotes whom the check is payable to, line 1 or 2?

If a company is an individual/sole proprietor, and line 1 and 2 is filled in which line do I use for the remit to?


If they are a single-member LLC and filled in line 2 with their business name, then I would use that. Either would technically work since their personal name should be on the business' account.

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  • great thank you so much – carol May 21 '19 at 13:45

Line 1 should be your name as it appears on your tax return; line 2 would be the business name. From the IRS instructions for W-9:

Specific Instructions

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. If this Form W-9 is for a joint account (other than an account maintained by a foreign financial institution (FFI)), list first, and then circle, the name of the person or entity whose number you entered in Part I of Form W-9. If you are providing Form W-9 to an FFI to document a joint account, each holder of the account that is a U.S. person must provide a Form W-9. a. Individual. Generally, enter the name shown on your tax return. If you have changed your last name without informing the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the name change, enter your first name, the last name as shown on your social security card, and your new last name. Note: ITIN applicant: Enter your individual name as it was entered on your Form W-7 application, line 1a. This should also be the same as the name you entered on the Form 1040/1040A/1040EZ you filed with your application. b. Sole proprietor or single-member LLC. Enter your individual name as shown on your 1040/1040A/1040EZ on line 1. You may enter your business, trade, or “doing business as” (DBA) name on line 2. 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. d. Other entities. Enter your name as shown on required U.S. federal tax documents on line 1. This name should match the name shown on the charter or other legal document creating the entity. You may enter any business, trade, or DBA name on line 2. e. Disregarded entity. For U.S. federal tax purposes, an entity that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner is treated as a “disregarded entity.” See Regulations section 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iii). Enter the owner's name on line 1. The name of the entity entered on line 1 should never be a disregarded entity. The name on line 1 should be the name shown on the income tax return on which the income should be reported. For example, if a foreign LLC that is treated as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal tax purposes has a single owner that is a U.S. person, the U.S. owner's name is required to be provided on line 1. If the direct owner of the entity is also a disregarded entity, enter the first owner that is not disregarded for federal tax purposes. Enter the disregarded entity's name on line 2, “Business name/disregarded entity name.” If the owner of the disregarded entity is a foreign person, the owner must complete an appropriate Form W-8 instead of a Form W-9. This is the case even if the foreign person has a U.S. TIN.

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

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Neither. That's not what the W9 is for.

While it's probably almost always true that they will have a bank account with a name similar to their "doing business as" name on line 2, the bank may have set it up differently, or they may have changed one and not the other.

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