Starting a business is a difficult endeavour, and it’s estimated that 9 out 10 new businesses will go under within their first year. Some businesses, however, not only made it past their first year, but they kept going for decades – sometimes even centuries – and are still going strong today.
With that in mind, these are the oldest companies the world that are still in operation.
The Koman Hotel is the third oldest company in the world, having been founded in 707 AD. The Koman is known as a ryokan, or a traditional Japanese hotel, meaning that the hotel is complete with communal baths and rooms that come with tatami mats.
The hotel was first established by Honnokami Hiuke, who started it after being inspired by a dream he had of 4 gods. In the dream, the gods told him where to go, and that he needs to protect his family for its many generations to come. He initially created a shrine to the gods on the property, and then moved on to the hotel at a later stage.
2. Nishiyama Onsen Kelunkan
As the second oldest company on the planet, this hot spring hotel was first opened in 705 AD, and can be found in Hayakawa, Japan. In 2011, the Guinness Book of Records named it as the oldest hotel in the world.
It features 37 rooms in total, and has been owned and managed by the same family for over 1300 years. The hot springs that it was built on top of are located near the Akaishi mountains, where the hot spring originates from, and provides a relaxing environment perfect for taking time off and enjoying the hotel, whether its seeing the mountains or staying in bed and playing bingo Canada games.
3. Stiftskeller St. Peter
Coming in as the 6th oldest company around, Stiftskeller St. Peer is among the very few that is not located within Japan. Instead, it can be found in the city of Salzburg, in Austria. It’s marked as the oldest restaurant in the world and the oldest company within Europe, an impressive feat considering the history behind many of Europe’s modern nations.
First founded in 803 AD in the St. Peter’s Archabbey monastery, the restaurant claims to have served a number of famous people over the years, including Christopher Columbus and Mozart.
Hoshi Ryoken is a traditional Japanese hotel that dates back to 718 AD, making it the third oldest hotel in the world. It has been managed by the same family for an incredible 46 generations, and is located in the Awazu Onse region of the Ishikawa prefecture in Japan.
5. Kongo Gumu
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Kongo Gumi is officially the very oldest company in the world that’s still in operation, and was first established in 578 AD.
This company, which operates primarily in construction, was founded by an immigrant who was commissioned by Prince Shotoku to design and construct the Shitenno-ji Buddhist temple.
The company ran for 1400 years before, due to financial problems, they became a subsidiary of Takamatsu.