There are more than 5,000 companies in the world that are over 200 years old. All these companies are located in about 40 countries, with a significant number in Japan. In fact, more than 50% of these companies are based in Japan, while about 15% are German. Most of these companies are not popular household names, but they do deserve attention if you consider that they have literally seen history being made. If you want to know more about these companies, then detailed below are the ten oldest companies in the world.
Ten oldest companies in the world
Our list of the ten oldest companies in the world is based on their age data from oldest.org. A point to note is that this list doesn’t include the oldest hotels. Following are the ten oldest companies in the world:
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Marinelli Bell Foundry (978 years)
Founded in 1,040 CE, it is an Italian foundry that operates to produce cast metals. Many of the bells in antique churches around Italy are likely to have been created by Marinelli Bell Foundry. It is the oldest known foundry in existence. The company allows tourists to buy their own miniature bell for about $50. Marinelli Bell is using the same process for metal casing that it used 1,000 years ago.
Shumiya Shinbutsuguten (994 years)
Founded in 1024 CE, it is a Japanese religious goods making company. The company has been making clothes for Buddhist monks for about 1,000 years. Also, it creates Buddhist altars, shrines, and other religious home decorations items. The company is located in Aichi Prefecture and has been actively operating the business.
Chateau de Goulaine (1,018 years)
Founded in 1,000 CE, this French company operates a winery. It is a former castle that once hosted Henry IV and Louis XIV as guests to the owning family. This property was recently listed for sale.
Nakamura Shaji (1,048 years)
Founded in 970CE, it is a Japanese construction company. It is not the oldest construction company. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it the oldest active construction company because the oldest (also from Japan) went out of business in the last decade. Nakamura Shaji specializes in wood working, especially Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
Royal Mint (1,132 years)
Founded in 886CE, it is a U.K. based company that has been minting coins for the country for more than 1,000 years now. During its 1000 year history, the company has operated from several different headquarters. Currently, the Royal Mint makes about 5 billion coins annually. Apart from coins, the company makes medals for the officials. It is wholly owned by Her Majesty's Treasury.
Tanaka Iga (1,133 years)
Founded in 885CE, it is a Japanese religious goods making company. It is the oldest merchant of Buddhist goods and the oldest store in the world that doesn’t sell food or drinks. Tanaka Iga makes most of the products that it sells. It produces several Buddhist goods, including butsudan shrines, altars and other furniture temples. Tanaka is based in Kyoto, and is currently being lead by its 70th-generation president, Masakazu Tanaka.
Monnaie de Paris (1,154 years)
Founded in 864CE, it a French company belonging to the minting industry. It is the oldest mint ever, as well as the oldest active government corporation. This company has produced money for many different regimes, including the Nazis during WWII. Monnaie de Paris switched to producing Euros in 1998 after France became part of the EU (European Union). In 1973, the company shifted its production to a facility in Pessac, while its original facility functions primarily as a museum.
Staffelter Hof Winery (1,156 years)
Founded in 862 CE, it is a German winery and hospitality company. Along with being a winery, this company offers a guest house. This winery has not only survived the fall of the Roman Empire but also WWI and WWII. Staffelter Hof Winery cultivates over seven hectares of vines. It has a distillery as well, which was established sometime after 1890. Staffelter Hof Winery produces three tiers of wines.
Genda Shigyō Paper Industries (1,247 years)
Founded in 771 CE, it is a Japanese paper company. It is the longest-running paper distribution in the world even though the paper was invented by China. This company prints ceremonial paper products, such as cards for weddings. It specializes in twisting paper into cords, and also does gift wrapping using complex paper designs. The company’s mizuhiki-adorned cards are available at high-end stationery shops, as well as local convenience stores.
Kongō Gumi (1,428 years)
Founded in 578CE, it is a Japanese construction company. A point to note is that this company is currently not active as it underwent liquidation in 2006. In 2006, it became the subsidiary of Takamatsu. Excess debt is believed to be the reason behind Kongō Gumi going into liquidation. This company was founded about 100 years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Kongō Gumi is the one who built the historic Osaka Castle.