The World’s Oldest Active Company Is More Than 1000 Years Older Than The United States

Apple and Google might be among the most successful companies in the world, but they’re a long way off being the oldest.

When asked to think about the biggest companies in the world, most people will likely think of the same handful. The likes of Apple, Google, Disney, and a few others. Corporations and companies we know for a fact are worth more money than most of us would ever be able to fathom.

However, they are not the oldest companies in the world. Far from it, in fact. Fortune estimates that the average company lasts around the two-decade mark nowadays. Not long at all in the grand scheme of things. There are some major exceptions to that rule though, as was recently discovered via an investigation by

The company went about trying to find out the age of the oldest company in every country, and ultimately the starting year of the oldest company in the world which is still active today. Well, mission accomplished, and its findings were nothing short of astounding. Turns out the oldest company in the world which still operates today is situated in Japan and was first established all the way back in 578 AD.

The company is called Kongo Gumi and has been in the temple building business for almost 1500 years. As Buddhism was on the rise in Japan during the 6th century, the Japanese royal family needed someone to help them build more temples. Korean temple builder Shigemitsu Kongo was deemed to be the man for the job, and he stuck around to keep the temples up to snuff and passed his know-how on down to those he worked with.

A millennium and a half later and that knowledge is still being put to good use. As for the oldest company still in business in every other country in the world, that’s on show in the map above put together by Countries not included in the study are ones where the necessary data regarding established businesses was not available, therefore could not be included.


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