The purpose of Inter IKEA Foundation is to secure the independence and the longevity of the IKEA Concept and the financial reserves needed to ensure this.
The ideas underlying the IKEA Concept are anchored in the IKEA vision and business idea: To create a better everyday life for the many people, by offering a wide range of well-designed home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
Inter IKEA Foundation is an enterprise foundation (Unternehmensstiftung), an independent entity with legal personality under Liechtenstein law. The foundation has its own governing bodies and exists for an unlimited period of time.
Put simply, the characteristic of an enterprise foundation is that it “owns itself”. Although the foundation is discretionary in nature, there is no, and can never be, any individual beneficiary of Inter IKEA Foundation. Funds held by the foundation can only be used for its purposes. This is irrevocable.
The Kamprad family are irrevocably excluded from all direct and indirect benefit without recompense. If any family member becomes employed in any of the businesses owned by Inter IKEA Foundation, they would only be eligible for a salary under the same terms as any other co-worker. This also applies to board fees, which can be paid under the same conditions as those paid to non-family board members. In addition, business transactions can only take place at market conditions, as with other parties.
Consequently, the Kamprad family neither owns nor controls Inter IKEA Foundation. It is, however, intended that the family of Ingvar Kamprad, as the founder of IKEA, over generations should be offered the opportunity to be engaged in the Advisory Council (Beirat) of Inter IKEA Foundation, but always in a minority.
The IKEA Concept
Through the foundation ownership, the IKEA Concept will remain under the ultimate and undivided control of Inter IKEA Foundation, over generations and irrespective of changes in the circumstances of individuals or family relationships. The foundation ownership prevents a fragmentation of ownership, which potentially could occur in case of family or public ownership. For these reasons, Liechtenstein foundation law, which offers a particular form of enterprise foundation (Unternehmensstiftung), was found to be best suited for the purpose for which the foundation was established.