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10 oldest companies in the world

The oldest businesses in the world are more than 1,000 years old. (Images: Kongo-Gumi, creative commons Wikimedia.org:Sharonlflynn and Wikimedia.org:Pakeha)

Running a business is a risky venture. 

About a third of small businesses exit within the first two years, according to JP Morgan, and only half of them survive to their fifth anniversary.

And this volatility is only getting worse in the tech age. 

Back in the 1960s the average lifespan of a company publicly listed in the US was 60 years. Now that average is closer to 20 years, according to Fortune.

Even the dominant brands we use daily like Google, Facebook and Apple have only been around for a few decades at most.

But there are exceptions to the rule. 

UK service BusinessFinancing.co.uk has compiled a list of businesses that have stood the test of time and managed to keep running for hundreds of years. They have survived wars, natural disasters and political upheaval to keep making money.

Incredibly, a few companies have even been operating for more than 1,000 years.

Here are the 10 oldest companies in the world that are still running:

Year established

Company 

Country

Industry

578AD

Kongō Gumi

Japan

Construction

803

St Peter Stifts Kulinarium

Austria

Restaurant

862

Staffelter Hof

Germany

Winery

864

Monnaie de Paris

France

Mint

886

The Royal Mint

England

Mint

900

Sean’s Bar

Ireland

Pub

1040

Pontificia Fonderia

Italy

Bell foundry

1074

Marinelli Affligem Brewery

Belgium

Brewery

1135

Munke Mølle

Denmark

Mill

1153

Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House

China

Restaurant

Topping the list is Japanese construction firm Kongō Gumi, which was founded in the 6th century by a Korean temple builder. 

Austria's St Peter Stifts Kulinarium comes in second, where it has served meals since 803AD. According to BusinessFinancing.co.uk, the inn is speculated to have served Christopher Columbus, Johann Georg Faust and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In Australia, Australia Post is considered the oldest still-running company. The organisation was established in 1809 in the colony of New South Wales with just one man sorting incoming mail at his home.

Here is a map of the oldest company in each country:

(Image: BusinessFinancing.co.uk)

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