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The Inc. Best in Business awards are back for an even more expansive second year. Once again, Inc. is looking to celebrate companies of all sizes and industries that have made an extraordinary impact in their fields and on our society this year. Apply now to stake your claim as one of Inc.’s Best in Business!

After a highly competitive inaugural year, Inc. will honor even more Best in Business winners across a growing field of 49 categories, including new awards such as Pandemic Response, Environmental Issues and Economic Equity. Every business that enters will automatically be considered for Inc.’s prestigious Company of the Year award!

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Why Apply?

For nearly 40 years, Inc. magazine has been devoted to recognizing America’s most dynamic businesses and honoring the great things they do. This year hundreds of companies will make the cut and be were honored in print and online. 2021 honorees will enjoy the following benefits:

National Recognition

Earn the distinction from Inc. as one of the Best In Business and automatically be considered for Inc.’s prestigious Company of the Year award!

Media Exposure

Be featured in the Winter issue of Inc. magazine, get a dedicated company profile on Inc.com, and receive national and local media coverage.

Visibility 

Every application will be seen and evaluated directly by Inc.’s editors, who will source stories and articles directly from the honorees and applicant pool.

One-Year Subscription

As part of your application you will receive a one-year subscription to Inc. magazine, the leading business publication with news, tools, and advice to help you succeed.

Greater Productivity and Retention

Show your current employees that all of their long days and nights of hard work are paying off and improve recruiting opportunities with prospective employees.

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How It Works

You will be asked to enter a few details about your company and answer four questions regarding the impact your company has achieved over the past year. Inc.’s editors will review every application and select multiple winners in each category. You can download a sample of the application questions here.

Privately-held, U.S based, independent (non-subsidiary) companies are eligible to apply.
 

Apply Now
Early Rate Deadline: August 13 (fee: $695)


Categories

Industry Categories 

Advertising and Marketing

Public relations firms, marketing companies, ad agencies, and companies that are involved with web-based promotions

Business Products

Public relations firms, marketing companies, ad agencies, and companies that are involved with web-based promotions

Business Services

Companies that sell services primarily to other businesses.

Civic Engagement (new for 2021)

Companies that have had a substantial impact on voting rights and the health of America's democracy.

Construction

Companies that put up buildings, normally as contractors, as well as companies that sell or install elements such as windows, doors, and flooring etc.

Consumer Products

Companies that primarily make, distribute, or sell products to consumers.

Consumer Services

Companies that primarily make, distribute, or sell consumer services.

DEI Advocacy (new for 2021)

Companies that have excelled in advocating for access and equity, in the workplace and/or society at large, for women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

Economic/Financial Equity (new for 2021)

Companies that have excelled in responsibly growing sustainable wealth and/or closing wage gaps specifically for under-resourced communities and the middle class.

Education

Companies that provide instruction or coaching, or sell educational materials, or whose primary market is schools or universities.

Energy

Companies that source or provide power for business and residential customers, as well as companies that provide specialized services to energy firms.

Engineering

Companies that provide engineering and related services, including construction or architectural work, and that manage engineering projects for clients.

Environmental Issues (new for 2021)

Companies that are making great strides in improving local, national, or global environmental conditions.

Environmental Services

Companies whose primary focus is on restoring or maintaining clean and safe environments.

Financial Services

Companies that provide financing or whose products and services facilitate financial transactions. Includes lenders, mortgage brokers, and financial advisers.

Food & Beverage

Companies that manufacture, sell, or distribute food or beverages or offer related services. Includes meal-delivery services.

Food Insecurity/Hunger (new for 2021)

Companies that have gone above and beyond in creating solutions to mitigate hunger, food deserts, and food safety.

General Excellence

Open to all companies effecting extraordinary change, often across multiple sectors

Government Services

Companies that provide consulting services—especially IT, health care, and procurement—used primarily by government entities.

Health Care Products

Companies that provide products strictly to the health care market, such as makers or distributors of nutritional supplements and makers or distributors of medical devices. 

Health Care Services

Companies that provide services strictly to the health care market, such as operators of medical facilities, including nursing homes. 

Human Resources

Staffing, payroll, executive-search, and outsourcing companies, as well as firms involved with employee or management training.

Insurance

Companies that sell insurance products or help the insurance industry in different forms of risk mitigation.

IT Management

Companies whose primary business is the outsourced management of software, servers, printers, security, etc.

IT System Development

Companies that create processes that enable their clients’ information technology to perform to its capacity.

Logistics & Transportation

Freight shipping, trucking, and other companies that move products and people, as well as brokers of those companies’ services and providers of services to the industry.

Manufacturing

Companies that make both intermediate and finished goods for sale to businesses and consumers.

Media

Companies whose primary business is creating or distributing content in any kind of communications medium.

Pandemic Response (new for 2021)

Companies that have had an outsized impact on the local, national, or global Covid-19 response this year.

Real Estate

Real estate developers and brokers and those providing services to brokers, buyers, and sellers. Also includes real estate-related investment firms.

Retail

Companies that sell products and services directly to consumers, either online or at brick-and-mortar stores. 

Security

Companies that provide physical security—guards, locks, heavy doors, barriers, surveillance systems, or armored trucks. 

Software

Companies that create software for businesses or individuals. 

Telecommunications

Companies involved with transmitting voice, video, or data on a mass scale and companies that sell services primarily to telecom firms. 

Travel & Hospitality

Travel agencies, tour operators, and other companies that help facilitate travel, as well as hotel companies and leisure destinations such as amusement parks

Veteran Advocacy (new for 2021)

Companies that dedicate substantial time and resources to supporting America’s veterans.

Wellness Products

Companies that primarily make, distribute, or sell products that aim to increase quality of life.

Wellness Services

Companies that primarily make, distribute, or sell services that aim to increase quality of life. 

Youth Entrepreneurship (new for 2021)

Companies that have made significant investments in training and supporting rising entrepreneurs, aged 21 and under.

 

 

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Company Stage Categories

Companies that have achieved incredible impact at different stages in their lifecycle

 

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Company Revenue Categories

Companies that have achieved incredible impact at different stages of their revenue

 

 

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Company Size Categories

 

 

 

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Apply Now
Early Rate Deadline: August 13 (fee: $695)