Think Like Inc.: The Business Model Behind the Inc. 5000.

The Inc. 5000 is a cash cow that generates millions each year through:

  • Application fees ($245) that all companies pay to be considered for the list.
  • Licensing fees (~$3k-$3.5k) that winners pay to display the Inc. 5000 logo on their site or social media.
  • Renewal fees (~$1.1k-$2.4k) that previous years’ winners pay to keep the logo up each additional year.

That doesn’t even count the $400-$6k companies pay for plaques, banners, custom reprints of their Inc. magazine appearance, and more.