Which are the Oldest Companies in Every Country in the World?

When you’re trying to recruit for a company, you need to pick out the key selling points and information you can use to help them stand out from any rival businesses that might be trying to attract the candidates you’re trying to place. This might be a competitive healthcare plan, a rewarding bonus package or it may be a cool office with a slide, but sometimes the story of that company’s history sells itself.

For example, what candidate wouldn’t be impressed by the chance to join a company that has been around since the 6th century? Yes, that’s the SIXTH century. There are businesses out there that are over 1000 years old and still going strong, as incredible as that might seem in a world that feels like it’s all about the new and the shiny. It’s not hard to sell the significance of becoming the latest recruit in such a long lineage like that, is it?

So here are the oldest companies in every country in the world:


There are a lot of civilizations in Europe that are amongst the oldest in the world, so it’s no surprise that there are some seriously old companies here that are still going today. The oldest is a restaurant within the walls of an abbey in Salzburg, Austria. St. Peter Stifts Kulinarium has been open since 803 and has served the likes of Faust, Mozart and Christopher Columbus, which is certainly the kind of information potential clients would be hugely impressed by.

North America

Here’s a much younger continent in terms of established businesses, with the oldest being mint in Mexico, where La Casa de Moneda de México was founded in 1534. The coins made there became the inspiration for currencies in the USA, Japan, and China, which must be a selling point for anyone considering taking up a role there now. Up in the USA, the Shirley Plantation is the oldest company in the country that’s still running, having started out in 1638.

South America

Money makes the world go round, so unsurprisingly another mint is the oldest business still operational in South America. It’s the Casa de Moneda de Colombia, which was founded in 1621, while the Casa da Moneda do Brasil in Brazil is almost as old, dating back to 1694. Elsewhere in South America, the oldest companies in countries like Bolivia and Argentina are both banks. We all need money, right?


Asia is home to many very old companies that have stood the test of time. Certainly, you’d have to spend a long time looking for a takeaway chicken restaurant that’s been open as long as Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in China, which has been around since 1153. Beat that, KFC! And then there’s Kongo Gumi, the oldest company in the world, which has been around since 578 and is still building temples today.


Post offices dominate the list of the oldest businesses in Africa, starting with the Mauritius Post, which was founded in 1772 in what was then a French colony. Namibia was the second African country to get itself a post office in 1814, but Africa’s turbulent history is also evident from the number of countries where the oldest companies only date back to the late 20th century.


The postal service was also the first company started in Australia, and if you ever need to advise someone with a chequered history on their career options, it’s worth remembering that it was founded by a convict named Isaac Nichols in 1809. Over 200 years later it’s still going, so there’s a sign of what can be achieved, even after taking the kind of wrong career path that you wouldn’t include on LinkedIn.

Why not have a look at all the rest of the oldest companies from countries around the world and see what other inspiration you can take from them?

About the author: John Cole writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. A digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in the UK, Norway, and the Balkans.

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