The Oldest Businesses in Every Country Around the World

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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.

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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 Age Country Company Name Year Opened Industry Type
1 Japan Kongo Gumi 578 construction
2 Austria St. Peter Stifts Kulinarium 803 restaurant
3 Germany Staffelter Hof Winery 862 brewer/distillery/winery
4 France Monnaie de Paris 864 coin production
5 Ireland Sean’s Bar 900 bar
6 Italy Marinelli Bell Foundry 1040 bell foundry
7 Belgium Affligem Brewery 1074 brewer/distillery/winery
8 Denmark Munke Mølle 1135 food and beverage
9 Scotland Aberdeen Harbour Board 1136 shipping
10 China Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House 1153 restaurant
11 Spain Casa de Ganaderos 1218 meat distributor
12 Switzerland Gasthof Sternen 1230 inn
13 Poland Bochnia Salt Mine 1248 salt plant/mine
14 Ukraine Drohobych Salt Plant 1250 salt plant/mine
15 Slovakia Kremnica Mint 1328 coin production
16 Netherlands The Brand Brewery 1340 brewer/distillery/winery
17 Sweden Skyllbergs Bruk 1346 enterprise
18 Czechia Pivovar Broumov 1348 brewer/distillery/winery
19 Estonia Raeapteek 1422 pharmacy
20 Luxembourg Mousel 1511 brewer/distillery/winery
21 England Trinity House 1514 shipping
22 Portugal CTT-Correios de Portugal SA 1520 post office/mail
23 Mexico La Casa de Moneda de Mexico 1534 coin production
24 Peru Casa Nacional de Moneda 1565 coin production
25 Turkey Çemberlitaş Hamamı 1584 turkish bath
26 Latvia Cēsu Alus 1590 brewer/distillery/winery
27 Colombia Casa de Moneda de Colombia 1621 coin production
28 United States Shirley Plantation 1638 plantation
29 Norway Posten Norge 1647 post office/mail
30 Finland Fiskars 1649 conglomerate
31 Guyana Hacienda Chuao 1660 plantation
32 Lithuania Gubernija 1665 brewer/distillery/winery
33 Canada Hudson’s Bay Company 1670 retail
34 Brazil Casa de Moeda do Brasil 1694 coin production
35 Barbados Mount Gay Rum 1703 bar
36 Russia Petrodvorets Watch Factory 1721 watches
37 Croatia Kraljevica Shipyard 1729 shipping
38 India Wadia Group 1736 conglomerate
39 Serbia Apatin Brewery 1756 brewer/distillery/winery
40 Jamaica Rose Hall 1770 plantation
41 Northern Ireland Derry Journal 1772 newspaper
42 Mauritius Mauritius Post 1772 post office/mail
43 Iceland Íslandspóstur 1776 post office/mail
44 Greece Traditional Kafenio of Emmanouil Forlidas 1785 cafe
45 Hungary Zwack 1790 brewer/distillery/winery
46 Malaysia POS Malaysia 1800 post office/mail
47 Indonesia Pindad 1808 military products
48 Australia Australia Post 1809 post office/mail
49 Chile Famae 1811 military products
50 Nambia Nampost 1814 post office/mail
51 Singapore Singapore Post 1819 post office/mail
52 Bangladesh M.M. Ispahani Limited 1820 food and beverage
53 South Africa Premier FMCG 1820 food and beverage
54 Argentina Banco de La Provincia de Buenos Aires 1822 bank
55 Trinidad & Tobago House of Angostura 1830 bar
56 Lebanon Bank Audi 1830 bank
57 Sri Lanka George Steuart Group 1835 conglomerate
58 Venezuela Banks Dih 1840 food and beverage
59 Montenegro Pošta Crne Gore 1841 post office/mail
60 Pakistan House of Habib 1841 conglomerate
61 Saudi Arabia House of Alireza 1845 enterprise
62 Tunisia La Poste Tunisienne 1847 post office/mail
63 Cape Verde Correios de Cabo Verde 1849 post office/mail
64 Philippines Destileria Limtuaco 1853 brewer/distillery/winery
65 Egypt Egyptian National Railways 1854 railroad
66 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company 1858 shipping
67 Liechtenstein National Bank of Liechtenstein 1861 bank
68 New Zealand Bank of New Zealand 1861 bank
69 Haiti Rhum Barbancourt 1862 bar
70 Belarus Olivaria Brewery 1864 brewer/distillery/winery
71 Bosnia & Herzegovina Sarajevska Pivara 1864 brewer/distillery/winery
72 Wales Monmouthshire Building Society 1869 bank
73 Honduras National Railroad of Honduras 1870 railroad
74 Bolivia Banco Nacional de Bolivia 1871 bank
75 North Macedonia Tutunski Kombinat Prilep 1873 tobacco
76 Armenia Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory 1877 brewer/distillery/winery
77 Uruguay Cafe Brasilero 1877 cafe
78 Romania Ursus Breweries 1878 brewer/distillery/winery
79 Bulgaria Arsenal Ad 1878 military products
80 Thailand B. Grimm Group 1878 conglomerate
81 Algeria Hamoud Boualem 1878 food and beverage
82 Vietnam Vietnam Railways 1881 railroad
83 Malta HSBC Bank Malta 1882 bank
84 Bahrain BMMI 1883 retail
85 Togo La Poste du Togo 1883 post office/mail
86 Syria Bakdash 1885 ice cream parlor
87 South Korea KT Corporation 1885 telecommunications
88 Congo Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo 1889 railroad
89 Nicaragua Flor de Caña 1890 brewer/distillery/winery
90 Kuwait M.H. Alshaya Co. 1890 retail
91 El Salvador HSBC El Salvador 1891 bank
92 Mozambique Beira Railroad Corporation 1892 railroad
93 Zimbabwe Standard Chartered Zimbabwe 1892 bank
94 Nigeria First Bank of Nigeria 1894 bank
95 Kenya KCB Group Limited 1896 bank
96 Zambia Zampost 1896 post office/mail
97 Taiwan Bank of Taiwan 1897 bank
98 Cyprus Bank of Cyprus 1899 bank
99 Djibouti Ethio-Djibouti Railways 1901 railroad
100 Belize Belize Bank 1902 bank
101 Georgia Bank of Georgia 1903 bank
102 Panama National Bank of Panama 1904 bank
103 Morocco Attijariwafa Bank 1904 bank
104 Ethiopia National Bank of Ethiopia 1906 bank
105 Uganda Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited 1906 bank
106 Libya Umma Bank 1907 bank
107 Costa Rica Florida Ice and Farm Company 1908 food and beverage
108 Dominica The Chronicle (Dominica) 1909 newspaper
109 Albania Albtelecom 1912 telecommunications
110 Kazakhstan Bogatyr Access Komir 1913 mining
111 Sudan Bank of Khartoum 1913 bank
112 Israel Café Abu Salem 1914 cafe
113 Sierra Leone Rokel Commercial Bank 1917 bank
114 Guatemala Corporacion Multi Inversiones 1920 restaurant
115 Liberia National Port Authority 1921 shipping
116 Rwanda National Post Office 1922 post office/mail
117 Senegal Dakar-Niger Railway 1924 railroad
118 Iraq North Oil Company 1928 oil
119 Cuba Cubana de Aviacion 1929 airline
120 Andorra Andbank 1930 bank
121 Afghanistan Spinzar Cotton Company 1930 cotton
122 Jordan Arab Bank 1930 bank
123 Mongolia Mongolian National Broadcaster 1931 broadcasting
124 Uzbekistan Tashkent Aviation Production Association 1932 airline
125 Tanzania Tanzania Breweries Limited 1933 brewer/distillery/winery
126 Nepal Nepal Bank Limited 1937 bank
127 Oman Petroleum Development Oman 1937 oil
128 Saint Lucia 1st National Bank of St. Lucia 1938 bank
129 United Arab Emirates Liwa Chemicals 1939 oil
130 Eritrea Asmara Brewery 1939 brewer/distillery/winery
131 Somalia Radio Mogadishu 1943 broadcasting
132 North Korea Kim Chong-T’ae Electric Locomotive Works 1945 railroad
133 Cote D’Ivoire La Poste 1945 post office/mail
134 Central African Republic Banque Internationale Pour la Centrafrique 1946 bank
135 Brunei Hua Ho Department Store 1947 retail
136 Cameroon Cameroon Development Corporation 1947 agriculture
137 Myanmar Myanmar National Airlines 1948 airline
138 Qatar Salam International Investment Limited 1952 conglomerate
139 Cambodia National Bank of Cambodia 1954 bank
140 Burundi Brarudi 1955 brewer/distillery/winery
141 Mali Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Mali 1957 broadcasting
142 Laos Électricité du Laos 1959 electric company
143 Bhutan Tashi Group 1959 airline
144 Niger Office of Radio and Television of Niger 1960 broadcasting
145 Yemen Yemenia Airways 1962 airline
146 Madagascar Air Madagascar 1962 airline
147 Guinea Halco Mining 1962 mining
148 Eswatini Swazi Rail 1963 railroad
149 Malawi Malawi Broadcasting Corporation 1964 broadcasting
150 Botswana Botswana Meat Commission 1965 meat distributor
151 Burkina Faso Air Burkina 1967 airline
152 Bénin Communauté Électrique du Bénin 1968 electric company
153 Gabon BGFIBank Group 1971 bank
154 Chad Cotontchad 1971 cotton
155 Guinea-Bissau Correios da Guiné-Bissau 1973 post office/mail
156 Mauritania Central Bank of Mauritania 1973 bank
157 São Tomé and Príncipe Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe 1975 bank
158 Congo Development Bank of the Central African States 1975 bank
159 Seychelles Air Seychelles 1977 airline
160 Lesotho Central Bank of Lesotho 1978 bank
161 Comoros Central Bank of the Comoros 1981 bank
162 Vanuatu European Trust Company 1991 bank
163 South Sudan Ivory Bank 1994 bank
164 Equatorial Guinea Guinea Equatorial Airlines 1996 airline
165 Kosovo Meridian Corporation 1999 food and beverage

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