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 Nov 22 '19 at 23:00

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.
| improve this answer | |
  • 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... – mhoran_psprep Nov 23 '19 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.

| improve this answer | |
  • 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 Nov 22 '19 at 22:59
  • 1
    @RonJohn my whole second sentence is about why. Just imagine it starts with "Because" – CQM Nov 23 '19 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 Nov 23 '19 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 Nov 25 '19 at 19:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.