I am a naturalized US citizen born in the UK, living in America. Can I buy stock in a privately held German company which is not listed on any stock exchange?

  • Are you a dual citizen?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


The fact that you're naturalized and were born in the UK mean nothing.

What matters are:

  1. whether Germany is under some sanction by the US (it's not),
  2. whether or not Germany allows foreigners to own stakes in Germany companies (you can),
  3. if there's a limit on how much of a company that a foreigner can own,
  4. taxes (both US and German), and
  5. how to register your ownership with the German authorities.
  • 1
    Another thing might matter. If you have certain jobs in the US they might frown on ownership in a foreign company. These jobs include US military, US government, ones that require a clearance... Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 12:43

Great details on you're naturalization as a US citizen and being born in the UK, they are highly relevant.

This is because many foreign companies do not want the additional burden of dealing with a "US Person" because it may create a compliance burden with them for reporting US taxes. What many US Persons do is create a non-US business entity and invest through that.

They operate in a US-ecosystem and simultaneously operate in a non-US-ecosystem.

But this doesn't matter yet until you figure out how to buy the shares of the German company. If you have a seller, then your citizenship does not prevent you from buying. There are then things you can do to make yours and the company's life easier, such as investing with a Cayman Islands business, for example. Then your tax burden is on you exclusively.

  • You say that it's "highly relevant" that he's a naturalized US citizen, then don't say why or even mention it again.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 22:59
  • 1
    @RonJohn my whole second sentence is about why. Just imagine it starts with "Because"
    – CQM
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 0:53
  • We can't read your mind, so don't know that. Also, it seems that your answer presumes that OP is now a dual citizen (whereas mine presumes that he is not).
    – RonJohn
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 1:16
  • @RonJohn my answer doesn't assume he is a dual citizen, only that he is an American citizen just like OP says he is.
    – CQM
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:31

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