What If My Company Is Private And Independent But Is About To Be Acquired Or Go Public? Your business is eligible as long as it was privately held and independent as of December 31, 2018. Click here to learn more about the Inc. 5000. Related articles My Company Is Public, Can I Apply? My Company Is Majority Or Wholly Owned By A Venture Capital Firm, A Private Equity Firm, Or An Investment Bank. Is It Eligible? What Are The Eligibility Criteria For The Inc. 5000?