New employment forms and onboarding comes with a healthy dose of papers and signatures.
For industries and enterprises that routinely hire independent contractors and other non-traditional employees, this process can seem never-ending with what seems like a revolving door of new employees.
What’s more, this “independent workforce” is increasing quite rapidly. Over 40% of the U.S. workforce now holds a “contingent” job.
So, how do these companies gather the information they need to send 1099s or W2s at the end of the year?
May we introduce the all too crucial W9.
What is a W9?
A W9, or it’s more formal name “Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification,” is the U.S. tax form used by employers and HR departments to collect the names, SSNs, addresses and other required information from independent workers (contractors) and other non-traditional employees.
Benefits of Using AssureSign to Send & Receive a W9
One of the benefits of digital transformation? Forms like the W9 can be sent for signature electronically…
… and no, we’re not talking about the old-school method of attaching a blank W9 form to an email, only to hope the receiver has a printer and scanner.
Using AssureSign’s eSignature software to send a digital W9 eliminates manual steps that often delay signers from promptly completing documents. eSignature software accelerates the digital W9 completion when compared to outdated methods such as attaching blank forms to an email or the far more manual process of printing, folding, sealing, paying for postage, sending, and waiting for its return.
With AssureSign, you can easily have employees electronically complete a W9 form…
With AssureSign’s eSign solution, you can send prospective employees a signing link via email or SMS/text message that allows them to begin and finish the electronic W9 process in just four simple steps using their laptop or or smartphone’s internet browser!
The best part? Unlike most of our competitors who slow down completion rates by forcing signers to create a user/signer account, AssureSign enables your employees to complete and sign forms in mere minutes—no account required!
With AssureSign’s robust UI and easy electronic signature process, it’s not surprising that many of our customers use our eSignature software to send W9 forms and other onboarding paperwork to their new, part-time, contracted, temporary or seasonal employees.
Using AssureSign for forms that require various types of responses—text, numbers, multiple choices, dates, eSignatures, etc.—like the W9 form is a breeze.
Nevertheless, we often find the notion of creating these types of forms leaves our customers feeling (needlessly) like our favorite Rugrats character…
But, before you trip over your shoelaces… take a look at the 3 easy steps to setting up a W9 form in AssureSign. When you’re done, you’ll be able to send a blank W9 form for eSignature to hundreds of thousands of employees whenever you like… in seconds!
Send a W9 with AssureSign
in 3(easy) Steps
Here, we’ll guide you through the create and send process using AssureSign’s new Simple Setup UI. There’s a few different ways you can create and send a W9 form using AssureSign, but our Simple Setup UI is preferable thanks to it’s drag and drop functionality.
Before getting started, make certain you’ve logged into your AssureSign account in the web-portal.
Step 1: Upload a Blank W9 Form Into AssureSign
Downloading a blank W9 form like this one from the IRS is quick and free… just open the PDF and save the file to your computer.
When you create a template (rather than a one-time send using “✉ ENVELOPE” mode) you’ll only have to create the W9 form once ! When you’re done, you can save the template to quickly open and send the form as many times as you need! Here’s how to get started…
Once logged in to the AssureSign web-portal:
1. Click the SEND DOCUMENT (SIMPLE SETUP) tab
2. Choose TEMPLATES mode on the top navigation bar
3. Click the blue + CREATE TEMPLATE button just below the top navigation bar
4. Fill out the text fields as desired and click continue…
5. Either drag and drop the blank W9 form saved to your computer OR click the upload file icon…
After selecting “NO” to allowing a sender to replace the file, it’s time to add a signer…
Step 2: Add a Signer
When using TEMPLATES mode, you’ll designate a signer label rather than a specific individual. This way, you can use your saved W9 template for any and every new employee–you’ll be prompted to input a signer’s information (name, email address, etc.) immediately prior to sending the W9.
Click the “ADD SIGNER” button on the navigation bar to the right
Input your desired Signer Label…
For demonstration, we input “Employee” (pictured above) but you can use any label that fits your specific use case, such as “Signer,” “Applicant,” “Employee Candidate,” or something else.
Step 3: Format the W9 Form
Lastly, you’ll place jotblocks on the W9 form using AssureSign’s drag and drop interface. Jotblocks allow your signer to input the requested information on the form before signing and submitting the form back to you.
We’ll walk through the types of jotblocks you’ll need to use for the W9 form below…
Lines 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7.
Add eSignature “Text” jotblocks to Lines 1, 2, 5, 6 and (if desired) 7.
For the two areas on Line 4 that request—optional—exemption codes, you can choose to use a “Text” eSignature jotblock OR you can utilize our “Dropdown” eSignature jotblock to create a dropdown menu that contains all 13 “exemption payee codes” listed on page 3 of the W9 form.
If using the “Dropdown” jotblock toggle the “Required” switch OFF because Line 4 is optional (if the required switch is left ON, a signer will not be able to submit the form if this line is left blank). Add appropriate instructions and name the jotblock.
Then, add each exemption code (they’re listed on page 3 of the W9) as an “option” in the “Add Option” area. The code descriptions are fairly lengthy, so we chose to only have the code’s number (1) display for the signer. We did this by only inputting the code’s number (1) in the “Display text” field. What you type into the “Display text” field is what the signer will see. We input the code’s number (1) and description (An organization exempt from tax under section 501(a)…) in the “Value to save field.” What you type into the “Value to save” field is what you will see when the form is returned.
You can also choose between using a “Dropdown” or “Text” eSignature jotblock for each digit of the SSN/EIN line.
If choosing to use the “Dropdown” eSignature jotblock for the SSN and EIN digits, add the numbers “1-9” as “Options” (following the same abovementioned process for Line 4)” Then, use the “Copy Jotblock” feature (#3 pictured below) to duplicate a jotblock for each of the remaining digits. You’ll want to toggle the “Required” switch OFF since a signer can input either their SSN OR EIN.
When selecting from multiple options displayed on a form—like Line 3 on a W9 form—our “Multiple Choice” eSignature jotblock is quite handy.
Here’s a guide to format the “Multiple Choice” jotblock (pictured below):
Leave the “Required” toggled on.
Input appropriate instructions for the signer.
Name the jotblock “Line 3.”
Toggle the “Allow signer to select multiple values” off (the form asks the signer to only select one).
Add the first tax classification listed on the form as an “option” in the “edit option” area.
To do this, type “Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC” in the “Display text” field (which is automatically mirrored in the “Value to save” field for multiple choice jotblocks). Because the W9 form already has the text printed on it, you won’t need the text to display again. So, under the “Display As” field select “Checkmark Box.” This way, only a checkbox will appear on the form, which you can later drag and drop over the existing checkbox.
Repeat this process for the six remaining tax classification options.
Once you’ve finished adding all seven classifications as options, click “Save Jotblock.” You’ll now see all the checkboxes appear in a row on the form… you can drag them to their respective spots on the form.
If a signer selects “Limited liability company” on line 3, (s)he is prompted to select one of three tax classifications listed to the right. Create a “Text” or “Dropdown” jotblock and drag it to the designated space. If using the “Dropdown” jotblock, you’ll want to add “C” “S” and “P” as options (following the same abovementioned process for Line 4).
Signature and Date
You could likely take the reins from here, you eSign guru! But just in case…
When you’re all finished, click the “Save and Close” button on the bottom right corner of the screen.
Send the W9
Congratulations! You’re all finished setting up the W9 template. Now, you can easily use this template to send a W9 form to as many employees as you like!
Anytime you’re ready to send a W9 form to an employee, simply click on your W9 template (under the “TEMPLATES” tab in Simple Setup) and select “Use This Template“
After filling in the employee’s full name and email address, the template will be queued into an envelope for sending (notice you’ve now switched to the “✉ ENVELOPE” tab on the top navigation bar).
When ready to send, click the “Review and Send” button at the top right corner of your screen. You’ll then be prompted to name your envelope–which in this case contains only the W9 form–along with other options, such as the date your documents are set to expire and attaching optional addendums you’d like your signer to receive along with his or her documents.
After clicking “Send,” the W9 form is on its way to your employee!
Now, see? Was that so bad!?…
Haven’t started sending W9 forms and other onboarding paperwork electronically? Get started today!…