IKEA was founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden, named as an acronym comprising the initials of the founder's name (Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden).
The groups of companies that form IKEA are all controlled by INGKA Holding B.V., a Dutch corporation, which in turn is controlled by a tax-exempt, not-for-profit Dutch foundation. The intellectual property of IKEA is controlled by a series of obscure corporations that can be traced to the Netherlands Antilles.
INGKA Holding B.V. owns the industrial group Swedwood, which sources the manufacturing of IKEA furniture, the sales companies that run IKEA stores, as well as purchasing and supply functions, and IKEA of Sweden, which is responsible for the design and development of products in the IKEA range. INGKA Holding B.V. is wholly owned by Stichting INGKA Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation registered in Leiden, Netherlands. The logistics center Europe is located in Dortmund, Germany.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. in Delft, also in the Netherlands, owns the IKEA concept and trademark, and there is a franchising agreement with every IKEA store in the world. The IKEA Group is the biggest franchisee of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is not owned by INGKA Holding B.V., but by Inter IKEA Holding S.A. registered in Luxembourg, which in turn is part of Inter IKEA Holding registered in the Netherlands Antilles. The ownership of the holding companies has not been disclosed