Organization/Filing of W-9's
Filing The W-9 Form
What is the proper way to "file" W-9's?
If it's an individual should it be by last or first name. If there is a business name that is not the same as the filing name which should it be stored under?
Good question Tina.
I think you will need to come up with a file naming convention that meets your needs. You might want to try the person's name followed by dba (means doing business as) the business name. That way if / when you search for something, it will come up under either name.
Investopedia has a good article on filling out the W-9 form.
The first box has instructions that say the your name should be exactly as shown on your income tax return. So I would probably stick with name to be the same format as box 1 or an acronym if you want to shorten it for file searching purposes.
The second box is for your business name, therefore I'd probably also use the same name as in box 2. If the business name is long, I'd probably come up with an acronym for the business that is used for all its PDF source documents.
Investopedia's article states for the completion of box 2:
"Enter your business name or "disregarded entity" name, if different from above. For example, you might be a sole proprietorship, but for marketing purposes, you don’t use your personal name as your business name; instead, you are “doing business as” some other name. You would enter that name here. As for the disregarded-entity part, if you don’t know what it is, you probably aren’t one. The most common type of disregarded entity is a single-member limited liability company, and sole proprietorships and S corporations are never classified as disregarded entities."
Read more at : Filling Out The W-9 For
If you are looking for how to organize the paper files instead of the virtual files, I'd match however you file the other paperwork related to that independent contractor. Depending on how often I have to reference this, I would scan all W-9s so once the paperwork is filed, I wouldn't have to touch it again ... instead I could just search my W-9 folder.
Are you a bookkeeper reading this blog? How do you file your W-9s?