What is the W-8BEN form, and how to fill it out?

Everything you need to know about the W-8BEN form.

What is the W-8BEN form?

The Form W-8BEN, also known as the Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting, is a tax document utilized by individuals and business entities who are not citizens of the United States. Its purpose is to confirm their country of residence for tax-related matters.

Who needs to submit the form?

If you fall into any of the following categories, it is mandatory to submit the W-8BEN form:

  • If you are an individual.
  • If you work as an independent contractor.
  • If you operate as a sole proprietor.

What is the visual appearance or layout of Form W-8BEN?

Here is a link to the official form from the IRS.


Complete the W-8BEN form

To comply with the necessary regulations, Contractors are required to fill out the W-8BEN form. The form may take a few minutes to load.

Step 1. Click on the designated button labeled "Complete the W-8BEN form" and press the button “Get started”:

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Step 2. Provide the necessary information and fill in the form.

Note: To find official instructions, please check IRS's website: W-8BEN.

There are only 3 essential fields that must be filled in. The remaining fields are considered optional. The form allows for optional fields, so it is acceptable to leave them blank if the information is not available or applicable.

The required fields are as follows:

Part I:
1) Name of the individual who is the beneficial owner.
2) Country of citizenship.
3) Permanent residence address (street, apartment or suite number, or rural route). Please avoid using a P.O. box or in-care-of address.

  • City or town, state or province. Please include the appropriate postal code.
  • Country
Part III:
1) Place a checkmark on "I certify that I have the capacity to sign for the person identified on line 1 of this form."
2) Signature of the beneficial owner (or the individual authorized to sign for the beneficial owner).
3) Print name of the signer

Please ensure that these required fields are accurately completed. You may choose to fill in the optional fields as well if the information is applicable.

Below highlighted fields in red are required: 



In case of infilling required data, the system will indicate errors:

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Step 3. Click the “Sign” button:

There is a need to sign the form and indicate the signature:

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Step 4. Click “I agree” with the terms & conditions of the Dropbox sign system.

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Please be aware that once you have signed the form, it takes approximately 30 seconds for the e-sign system to process the signature. We suggest refreshing the page and waiting for the status to indicate "done."