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The Oldest Businesses in Every Country Around the World

If you’ve ever wondered what country is home to the world’s oldest continuously operating business, you’ll find the answer with this visual created by the research team at Cloud Peak Law Group. Here, we explore the oldest business in almost every country around the world and the centuries they began operation in. While not every country had information available, our team was able to find the oldest business for 165 countries around the world. Only five of the businesses that are still running today date back to before the year 1000, with the oldest company in the world having opened in 578: That’s more than 1,400 years of being in business! What industries were the oldest businesses in the world a part of? These businesses span across more than 30 different types of industries, but banking was found to be the most common. Businesses like breweries, wineries, and distilleries and postal services have also stood the test of time and make up some of the oldest businesses in the world.

Click the image to expandThe Oldest Businesses in Every Country Around the World - Wyoming Trust & LLC Attorney - Infographic

What Is the Oldest Business in the World?

The oldest business in the world is a company in Japan called Kongō Gumi, which has been in operation since 578. It is the oldest company on the list by far, predating the second-oldest by more than 200 years. Kongō Gumi is a family-owned construction company that got its start building Buddhist temples and other famous buildings many centuries ago. The company fell on hard times in 2006 and since then has been a subsidiary of a Japanese construction and engineering conglomerate.

A majority of the oldest businesses in the world can be found in Europe, with the exception of Japan and China’s oldest, which are in the top 10 oldest companies in the world.

The 10 Oldest Companies in Different Countries Around the World

  1. Kongo Gumi in Japan opened in 578.
  2. St. Peter Stifts Kulinarium in Austria opened in 803.
  3. Staffelter Hof Winery in Germany opened in 862.
  4. Monnaie de Paris in France opened in 864.
  5. Sean’s Bar in Ireland opened in 900.
  6. Marinelli Bell Foundry in Italy opened in 1040.
  7. Affligem Brewery in Belgium opened in 1074.
  8. Munke Mølle in Denmark opened in 1135.
  9. Aberdeen Harbour Board in Scotland opened in 1136.
  10. Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in China opened in 1153.

What Is the Oldest Business in the United States?

The Shirley Plantation is the oldest company in America. It began operating almost 400 years ago, in 1638. The Shirley Plantation is the oldest family-owned business in the United States and the oldest active plantation in Virginia. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

What Is the Most Common Industry of the Oldest Businesses in the World?

The most common industry of the oldest companies in the world is banking, with 36 countries on the list having a bank as their oldest business. The oldest bank still in operation today is the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires in Argentina, which opened in 1822. After banking, the most common type of business is in the alcohol industry, with 18 different breweries, wineries, or distilleries making the list. The oldest is a winery located in Germany that dates back to 862. Postal services were also found to be the oldest company still in business for 16 different countries on the list. Portugal’s postal service is the oldest one in the world.

The Complete List of the Oldest Business in Every Country Around the World

Please note that some countries do not have data available.

Rank by AgeCountryCompany NameYear OpenedIndustry Type
1JapanKongo Gumi578construction
2AustriaSt. Peter Stifts Kulinarium803restaurant
3GermanyStaffelter Hof Winery862brewer/distillery/winery
4FranceMonnaie de Paris864coin production
5IrelandSean’s Bar900bar
6ItalyMarinelli Bell Foundry1040bell foundry
7BelgiumAffligem Brewery1074brewer/distillery/winery
8DenmarkMunke Mølle1135food and beverage
9ScotlandAberdeen Harbour Board1136shipping
10ChinaMa Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House1153restaurant
11SpainCasa de Ganaderos1218meat distributor
12SwitzerlandGasthof Sternen1230inn
13PolandBochnia Salt Mine1248salt plant/mine
14UkraineDrohobych Salt Plant1250salt plant/mine
15SlovakiaKremnica Mint1328coin production
16NetherlandsThe Brand Brewery1340brewer/distillery/winery
17SwedenSkyllbergs Bruk1346enterprise
18CzechiaPivovar Broumov1348brewer/distillery/winery
21EnglandTrinity House1514shipping
22PortugalCTT-Correios de Portugal SA1520post office/mail
23MexicoLa Casa de Moneda de Mexico1534coin production
24PeruCasa Nacional de Moneda1565coin production
25TurkeyÇemberlitaş Hamamı1584turkish bath
26LatviaCēsu Alus1590brewer/distillery/winery
27ColombiaCasa de Moneda de Colombia1621coin production
28United StatesShirley Plantation1638plantation
29NorwayPosten Norge1647post office/mail
31GuyanaHacienda Chuao1660plantation
33CanadaHudson’s Bay Company1670retail
34BrazilCasa de Moeda do Brasil1694coin production
35BarbadosMount Gay Rum1703bar
36RussiaPetrodvorets Watch Factory1721watches
37CroatiaKraljevica Shipyard1729shipping
38IndiaWadia Group1736conglomerate
39SerbiaApatin Brewery1756brewer/distillery/winery
40JamaicaRose Hall1770plantation
41Northern IrelandDerry Journal1772newspaper
42MauritiusMauritius Post1772post office/mail
43IcelandÍslandspóstur1776post office/mail
44GreeceTraditional Kafenio of Emmanouil Forlidas1785cafe
46MalaysiaPOS Malaysia1800post office/mail
47IndonesiaPindad1808military products
48AustraliaAustralia Post1809post office/mail
49ChileFamae1811military products
50NambiaNampost1814post office/mail
51SingaporeSingapore Post1819post office/mail
52BangladeshM.M. Ispahani Limited1820food and beverage
53South AfricaPremier FMCG1820food and beverage
54ArgentinaBanco de La Provincia de Buenos Aires1822bank
55Trinidad & TobagoHouse of Angostura1830bar
56LebanonBank Audi1830bank
57Sri LankaGeorge Steuart Group1835conglomerate
58VenezuelaBanks Dih1840food and beverage
59MontenegroPošta Crne Gore1841post office/mail
60PakistanHouse of Habib1841conglomerate
61Saudi ArabiaHouse of Alireza1845enterprise
62TunisiaLa Poste Tunisienne1847post office/mail
63Cape VerdeCorreios de Cabo Verde1849post office/mail
64PhilippinesDestileria Limtuaco1853brewer/distillery/winery
65EgyptEgyptian National Railways1854railroad
66AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company1858shipping
67LiechtensteinNational Bank of Liechtenstein1861bank
68New ZealandBank of New Zealand1861bank
69HaitiRhum Barbancourt1862bar
70BelarusOlivaria Brewery1864brewer/distillery/winery
71Bosnia & HerzegovinaSarajevska Pivara1864brewer/distillery/winery
72WalesMonmouthshire Building Society1869bank
73HondurasNational Railroad of Honduras1870railroad
74BoliviaBanco Nacional de Bolivia1871bank
75North MacedoniaTutunski Kombinat Prilep1873tobacco
76ArmeniaYerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory1877brewer/distillery/winery
77UruguayCafe Brasilero1877cafe
78RomaniaUrsus Breweries1878brewer/distillery/winery
79BulgariaArsenal Ad1878military products
80ThailandB. Grimm Group1878conglomerate
81AlgeriaHamoud Boualem1878food and beverage
82VietnamVietnam Railways1881railroad
83MaltaHSBC Bank Malta1882bank
85TogoLa Poste du Togo1883post office/mail
86SyriaBakdash1885ice cream parlor
87South KoreaKT Corporation1885telecommunications
88CongoSociété Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo1889railroad
89NicaraguaFlor de Caña1890brewer/distillery/winery
90KuwaitM.H. Alshaya Co.1890retail
91El SalvadorHSBC El Salvador1891bank
92MozambiqueBeira Railroad Corporation1892railroad
93ZimbabweStandard Chartered Zimbabwe1892bank
94NigeriaFirst Bank of Nigeria1894bank
95KenyaKCB Group Limited1896bank
96ZambiaZampost1896post office/mail
97TaiwanBank of Taiwan1897bank
98CyprusBank of Cyprus1899bank
99DjiboutiEthio-Djibouti Railways1901railroad
100BelizeBelize Bank1902bank
101GeorgiaBank of Georgia1903bank
102PanamaNational Bank of Panama1904bank
103MoroccoAttijariwafa Bank1904bank
104EthiopiaNational Bank of Ethiopia1906bank
105UgandaStanbic Bank Uganda Limited1906bank
106LibyaUmma Bank1907bank
107Costa RicaFlorida Ice and Farm Company1908food and beverage
108DominicaThe Chronicle (Dominica)1909newspaper
110KazakhstanBogatyr Access Komir1913mining
111SudanBank of Khartoum1913bank
112IsraelCafé Abu Salem1914cafe
113Sierra LeoneRokel Commercial Bank1917bank
114GuatemalaCorporacion Multi Inversiones1920restaurant
115LiberiaNational Port Authority1921shipping
116RwandaNational Post Office1922post office/mail
117SenegalDakar-Niger Railway1924railroad
118IraqNorth Oil Company1928oil
119CubaCubana de Aviacion1929airline
121AfghanistanSpinzar Cotton Company1930cotton
122JordanArab Bank1930bank
123MongoliaMongolian National Broadcaster1931broadcasting
124UzbekistanTashkent Aviation Production Association1932airline
125TanzaniaTanzania Breweries Limited1933brewer/distillery/winery
126NepalNepal Bank Limited1937bank
127OmanPetroleum Development Oman1937oil
128Saint Lucia1st National Bank of St. Lucia1938bank
129United Arab EmiratesLiwa Chemicals1939oil
130EritreaAsmara Brewery1939brewer/distillery/winery
131SomaliaRadio Mogadishu1943broadcasting
132North KoreaKim Chong-T’ae Electric Locomotive Works1945railroad
133Cote D’IvoireLa Poste1945post office/mail
134Central African RepublicBanque Internationale Pour la Centrafrique1946bank
135BruneiHua Ho Department Store1947retail
136CameroonCameroon Development Corporation1947agriculture
137MyanmarMyanmar National Airlines1948airline
138QatarSalam International Investment Limited1952conglomerate
139CambodiaNational Bank of Cambodia1954bank
141MaliOffice de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Mali1957broadcasting
142LaosÉlectricité du Laos1959electric company
143BhutanTashi Group1959airline
144NigerOffice of Radio and Television of Niger1960broadcasting
145YemenYemenia Airways1962airline
146MadagascarAir Madagascar1962airline
147GuineaHalco Mining1962mining
148EswatiniSwazi Rail1963railroad
149MalawiMalawi Broadcasting Corporation1964broadcasting
150BotswanaBotswana Meat Commission1965meat distributor
151Burkina FasoAir Burkina1967airline
152BéninCommunauté Électrique du Bénin1968electric company
153GabonBGFIBank Group1971bank
155Guinea-BissauCorreios da Guiné-Bissau1973post office/mail
156MauritaniaCentral Bank of Mauritania1973bank
157São Tomé and PríncipeCentral Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe1975bank
158CongoDevelopment Bank of the Central African States1975bank
159SeychellesAir Seychelles1977airline
160LesothoCentral Bank of Lesotho1978bank
161ComorosCentral Bank of the Comoros1981bank
162VanuatuEuropean Trust Company1991bank
163South SudanIvory Bank1994bank
164Equatorial GuineaGuinea Equatorial Airlines1996airline
165KosovoMeridian Corporation1999food and beverage

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