W-9 & W-8BEN


Do I need to get a W-9/W-8BEN?


  • The vendor will be paid with a check.
  • The vendor will be paid with a wire.
  • Accounts Payable does not have one on file.
  • The payment is strictly a reimbursement (i.e. mileage or flight for a recruit)
    • All reimbursements must have a receipt (or map documentation for mileage).


  • The vendor will be paid with a PCard.
  • Accounts Payable already has one on file.

What is the difference between a W-9 and a W-8BEN?

  • W-9
    • For ALL businesses (including non-profit) with an Employee Identification Number
    • For individuals with a Social Security Number
    • For individuals that are a resident alien of the U.S. with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • W-8BEN
    • For ALL businesses (including non-profit) without an Employee Identification Number
    • For individuals that don’t have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. not a U.S. citizen)
    • Part I lines 6-8 are required fields and must be filled out in their entirety
  • W-8BEN-E

    • As a general rule for W-8BEN-Es the first page must be completely filled out as well as the signature on the final page. The answers on Part I lines 4 and 5 will determine what other parts are required. If line 4 is marked as a disregarded entity then Part II is required or if “yes” is checked on line 4 then Part III is required. On line 5 if the first five (nonparticipating FFI, Participating FFI, Reporting Model 1 FFI, Reporting Model 2 FFI, registered deemed-compliant FFI) are marked, then only page one and the signature is required. All of the other options on line 5 have the required part listed next to it.

How do I get a W-9?

  • If the vendor is an individual, you can send him/her a blank copy to fill out for you.
  • If the vendor is a business, your contact should be able to get one from his/her Accounting Department.  Most Accounting Departments are very familiar with the form and already have one filled out that they can email/fax you.
  • If you have any trouble obtaining a W-9, please contact the Buyer in Procurement who is processing your Requisition.

All W-9s and W-8BENs must have a signature.

All W-9s must have EITHER a Social Security Number OR an Employee Identification Number but NOT BOTH or it will be returned.

When submitting a W-9 or W-8 BEN form, please ensure that the most current version of Form W-9 or W-8 BEN, as provided by http://www.irs.gov/, is used.

If you have any questions about W-9s and W-8BENs, please contact Accounts Payable by email acctspay@liberty.edu or by phone (434) 592-3166.