Unlike the W-8BEN form, meant for individuals or sole proprietors, the W-8BEN-E form is applicable to companies. This article will lead you through the process of filling it out using a practical example applicable to the majority of those working in the IT industry.

Remember, the W-8 forms are Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms whose primary goal is to clarify how much tax (if any) you are required to pay to U.S. tax authorities as an international contractor. There are five W-8 forms: W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP and W-8IMY.

If you’re wondering why filing the W-8 Forms is important in the first place, get all the information here.

When Are These Instructions Relevant to You?

Suppose you own or are an official representative of a company not situated in the United States which does business and receives payments from a U.S. company. In that case, you must submit the W-8BEN-E form to your overseas partner/client.

Consider the following statements to be confident that the instructions for the W-8BEN-E form apply to you:

  • Your company is NOT a U.S. company.
  • Your company IS a corporation (or LLC).
  • You, as REPRESENTATIVE of the company, are not living in the U.S.
  • Your company DOES perform services outside the U.S. (your workplace is NOT in the U.S.).
  • However, your company DOES receive some income from a U.S. company.

Were you able to confirm everything above? If so, you should go ahead and submit the W-8BEN-E form to your client as soon as possible. If the first statement doesn’t apply to you and you work for a U.S. company as an individual or a sole proprietor, make sure to follow our other article here to guide you through the W-8BEN form applicable to you.

How to Fill Out a W-8BEN-E Form in This Case?

To help you with that, let's first remember we have already clarified that your company’s income is not U.S. sourced. We have done so by confirming all the statements above. If you still have any doubts about it, go back to the first article of the W-8 Forms series to learn more about this rule.

Therefore, when it comes to filling out the W-8BEN-E form, not having your company’s income sourced from the U.S. means that you must fill out the following sections:

  • Part I/1
  • Part I/2
  • Part I/4 (In your specific case fill out only the first part, where you should tick ‘Corporation’ if your company is for example LTD, LLC … You don’t need to answer YES/NO question.)
  • Part I/6
  • Part I/7 (optionally - only if your company’s mailing address is different from the registered address)

Moreover, all the parts between II and XXIX are left blank.

Finally, in Part XXX, you fill out the last part on page number 8 where you check the box that says, "I certify that I have the capacity to sign for the entity identified on line 1 of this form." The signature, date in the U.S. format MM-DD-YYYYY (first the month, then the day) and the signatory's print name must also be added at the end.

An example of a completed W-8BEN-E form for a foreign corporation working from outside the U.S. is shown below.

Before filing the form, consider one more thing if you intend to sign the W-8BEN-E form electronically. IRS allows electronic signatures that have additional information included that support the validity of it, such as:

  • signatory’s name and title
  • signatory’s email address
  • date and time of the digital signature

Your company representative can use a third-party tool to submit an electronic signature. In this case, the tool will automatically include the mentioned information. Below is an example of a verification page if the signing is done electronically with the help of HelloSign.

How Long Is the W-8BEN-E Form Valid?

Unfortunately, the W-8BEN-E form has an expiration date. It is critical to remember that the submission will be valid for the year your company representative’s signed it in and the next three calendar years. As a result, your company’s form will always expire on December 31st.

For instance, let’s assume your company submitted a signed form on the 30th of January 2021. In this case, your company’s W-8BEN-E will be valid until December 31, 2024. After that, you'll have to go through the process again.

Aside from the form's expiration date, another reason you might need to fill it out and have it signed again is if any of the information on it changes. Examples of this would be the company getting a new address or changing its name.


This is the final, third blog post in the series 'W-8 Forms Made Simple’, containing all of the information you need to fill out a W-8BEN-E form. See the first article in the series for more general information on the W-8 Forms and the second one for detailed instructions on how to fill out the W-8BEN form:

*These rules do not count as legal or tax advice. A person must contact legal or tax professionals to verify their accuracy. Povio, Inc. nor the author herself accept no material or legal responsibility for the content of the following rules. Consult with a certified tax advisor or check the official IRS instructions if in doubt.