There are two steps to successfully submitting a company to be in the running for the Inc. 5000:
Step 1. Application Registration: The first step to submit a company to the Inc. 5000 is to complete the online application here.
A few things to keep in mind when submitting your online application for the Inc. 5000:
- Confirm that your company meets the Inc. 5000 2023 eligibility requirements.
- You can view a PDF of the online application here.
- Apply early to be eligible for the early-application benefits and to ensure that you make all editorial and publication deadlines.
- If you do not have a final figure for your 2022 revenue when you apply, you may enter an estimate and provide us with a more precise figure when you submit your verification materials in sStep 2.
Step 2. Revenue Verification: After submitting an online application for the Inc. 5000, you’ll need to verify the company revenue figures for 2019 and 2022. To do so you’ll need to submit specific verification materials, which are outlined below.
A few things to keep in mind for revenue verification:
- Submitting your revenue verification early will ensure accurate coverage by Inc.com or Inc. magazine.
- After you submit revenue verification to support your revenue numbers in your application, you may not withdraw from consideration for the 2023 Inc. 5000.
- If you are concerned that your final 2022 revenue figures will not be available in time, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The revenue figures in the verification documents must be precise down to the dollar, or rounded to the nearest thousand dollars at most. Since the ranking of our list is determined by the three-year revenue growth rate, this level of accuracy is very important.
*Please note, if you do not complete Step 2: Revenue Verification, your application will be considered incomplete and will be disqualified.*
For Step 2: Revenue Verification, you can choose one of the following four options of revenue verification:
- Digital signature verification
- Revenue verification form PDF
- Redacted tax returns for 2019 and 2022(Line 1C of Form 1120/1065 or Part 1, Line 3, of a Schedule C)
- Audited financial statements (must include accounting opinion letter, and income statement from financial statements that have been audited, reviewed, or compiled by an independent accounting firm)
Please note: Inc.’s editorial team reserves the right to request additional documentation in addition to digital signatures or the signed revenue verification form to verify reported revenue numbers (redacted tax returns or audited financial statements) at their discretion. Any company that fails to provide additional material if requested risk disqualification.
1. Digital Signature Verification
Digital signature revenue verification will be required in the format of a digital signature from your CEO and a co-signer with one of the following certifications: certified public accountant, chartered financial analyst, certified management accountant, IRS certified enrolled agent, or attorney.
You must be legible with your digital signature and not make a line or dot. Signatures that are not legible will require the verification to be re-signed.
Here's an example of what is and isn't acceptable:
2. Revenue Verification Form PDF
The revenue verification form PDF is similar to the digital signature verification but in a PDF format. This PDF form requires your CEO signature and co-signer signature. The co-signer MUST have one of the following certifications: certified public accountant, chartered financial analyst, certified management accountant, IRS certified enrolled agent, or attorney.
You can view the revenue verification form PDF here.
The below is required for the revenue verification form PDF:
- The company name must be listed on the form.
- Revenue numbers must be precise down to the dollar, or rounded to the nearest thousand dollars at most (we cannot accept figures that are too rounded – they must be rounded to the nearest thousand; example: $1,124,000).
- Both the CEO and co-signer signatures must be on the form and legible.
- The co-signer credentials must be clearly listed.
Here are examples of an acceptable completed revenue verification form and an unacceptable revenue verification form.
3. Redacted Tax Returns for 2019 and 2022
Submitting your company redacted tax returns is a perfect way to verify your company’s revenue.
If you are submitting redacted tax returns to verify your revenue, the documents must contain:
- The first two pages of the return. Feel free to redact any figure below Line 1C of Form 1120/1065 or Part 1, Line 3, of a Schedule C.
- The company address.
Here are some examples of what we can and cannot accept:.
Remember that to be eligible for the Inc 5000, you must have a revenue of at least $100,000 for 2019 and $2 million for 2022. We cannot accept revenue that is below the minimum for either 2019 or 2022.
4. Audited Financial Statements
The final option to verify your company revenue is with audited financial statements. For audits, the following must be included: the accounting opinion letter and income statement from financial statements that have been audited, reviewed, or compiled by an independent accounting firm.
*Please do not submit general profit and loss or internal balance forms for your submissions. These will not be accepted as these cannot verify your company’s revenue numbers.
If you have any additional questions, please email us at email@example.com
The early-rate fee to apply is $245 until March 24, 2023.
The regular-rate fee to apply is $345 from March 25 until the final deadline date of April 21, 2023.
The final deadline to submit your Revenue Verification Materials is May 5, 2023.
All submission dates are until 11:59 pm Pacific Time.