Home Ranking World’s Oldest Companies Still in Business Today

World’s Oldest Companies Still in Business Today

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To be considered an old company, an organization must be in operation since its foundation and for longer than 200 years.

Around the world, there are over 5,500 companies that fit this description. These companies are located in several countries, including Japan (3,146), Germany (837), the Netherlands (222), and France (196). This article takes a closer look at some of the oldest companies still operating in the world today.

These companies do not include educational institutions, government, or religious institutions.

Here is a list of companies that have survived the test of time, and though hundreds of years old, are still operating today.

The Oldest Companies Still Operating Today

Kongo Gumi

Kongo Gumi, established in 578 AD, is the oldest, continually operating company in the world. Its headquarters are located in Osaka, Japan. This construction company was founded by an immigrant, who was commissioned by Prince Shotoku to build the Shitennō-ji Buddhist temple.This was a family-run company for around 1,400 years until 2006, when the company struggled financially and became a subsidiary of Takamatsu. Before the merger, it employs over 100 individuals and has an annual budget of around $70 million. It continues to specialize in Buddhist temples today.

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Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan

The second oldest company in the world is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot spring hotel in Hayakawa, Japan. It was founded in 705 AD and in 2011 was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest hotel. This 37-room hotel has been managed for over 1,300 years by the same family. It is located near the Akaishi mountains, where its hot water originates in the nearby Hakuho Springs.

Koman

Founded in 707 AD, the Koman Hotel is the third oldest company in the world. This hotel is a ryokan, or traditional Japanese Hotel. This means the hotel has communal baths and rooms with tatami mats. It was established by Gonnokami Hiuke, who became inspired to start the hotel after dreaming of 4 gods. In his dream, the gods told him he must live in that location in order to protect his family’s safety over the generations. He built a shrine to the Gods on the hotel’s premise. His descendants went on to open bathhouses In Kinosaki Onsen nearby.

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Hoshi

Hoshi ryokan is another traditional Japanese Hotel which was founded in 718 AD, making it the fourth oldest company in the world and the third oldest hotel. It is located in the Awazu Onse region of the Ishikawa prefecture in Japan. Management of this hotel has stayed in the same family for 46 generations.

Genda Shigyo

Genda Shigyo, a ceremonial paper goods company, was founded in 771 AD. In 794, it moved its headquarters to Kyoto, when that city became the capital of Japan. Today, its offices can be found between the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle. This company specializes in mizuhiki, colorful paper twisted into cords. These chords are used at events such as funerals and weddings.

Stiftskeller St. Peter

Stiftskeller St. Peter is the 6th oldest company in the world and the first on the list to be located outside of Japan. This restaurant can be found in the city of Salzburg in Austria. It is the oldest restaurant in the world and the oldest company in Europe. Stiftskeller St. Peter was founded in 803 AD within the monastery of St. Peter’s Archabbey. The restaurant claims to have served several famous individuals over the last few centuries, includingChristopher Columbus and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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The chart published below offers a more complete list of the oldest companies in the world.

The Oldest Companies Still Operating Today

Rank Year Established Company Current location Field
1 578 Kongō Gumi Japan Construction
2 705 Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Japan Hotel
3 717 Koman Japan Hotel
4 718 Hōshi Ryokan Japan Hotel
5 771 Genda Shigyō Japan Ceremonial paper goods
6 803 Stiftskeller St. Peter Austria Restaurant
7 862 Staffelter Hof Germany Wine
8 885 Tanaka-Iga Japan Religious goods
9 900 Sean’s Bar Ireland Pub
10 953 The Bingley Arms UK Pub
11 970 Nakamura Shaji Japan Construction
12 1000 Château de Goulaine France Wine
13 1000 Marinelli Bell Foundry Italy Foundry
14 1000 Ichimonjiya Wasuke Japan Confectionery
15 1024 Shumiya-Shinbutsuguten Japan Religious goods
16 1040 Weihenstephan Germany Brewery
17 1050 Weltenburger Germany Brewery
18 1068 Otterton Mill UK Mill
19 1074 Affligem brewery Belgium Brewery
20 1074 Benediktinerstift Admont Austria Woodworking