What Does Fortune 500 Mean?

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The Fortune 500 list is synonymous with great capital gain, significant revenue and expansion. Although these achievements are the benchmark of a typical Fortune 500 company, they are not the only factors. Many companies benefit from advances in new technologies, effective marketing campaigns and strong upper management to find success as a business, and eventually land on the list.


Fortune 500 is a title used to describe the 500 companies that are listed by Fortune magazine for having earned the most after-tax revenue for the year; among public companies.


Each honoree is evaluated based on the gross revenue collected after all tax liabilities have been satisfied. Fortune magazine uses a formula to confirm gross revenue that does not include pretax dollars.

Past Fortune 500 Companies

Past Fortune 500 companies have included Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobile, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and JP Morgan & Chase.

Time Frame

The Fortune 500 list is created yearly and businesses are added and dropped each year. A business must cite the year it was listed as a Fortune 500 company along with the gross revenue for that period to use the title.


Generally, to be a Fortune 500 company revenue should reach the billion-dollar mark. Common returning entrants are large multinational corporations with holdings around the world.