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Starting a business was quite possibly the first thing in my life that I didn't need to ask anyone's permission for. You don't need Google's, YC's, or a VC's blessing to start. You might need it to get their money, but startup costs for many software companies are asymptotically approaching zero.

If I could change one thing about business culture in Europe, it would be this. You just start doing something and the paperwork, permits, accounting and so on can all come later. It's a wonderful feeling.

My impression is that you can't get started in the EU without at least a little up-front paperwork.

In NL it is like that. You can start a business personally and later convert it into a legal vehicle of your chosing, or not at all. When you want to claim back VAT there are some hoops to jump through, but a 'single proprietor company' without shares does not need an act of incorporation to be active.

You rarely need permits (if you sell food or medication or something like that you do), you will need to do your filings but you can usually get them deferred for the first year.

In the UK, which is technically EU, you can pretty much just start, depending what it is exactly.

I think of the UK as much closer in business culture to the US in this respect.

In the UK its actually easier to start a business than it is in the US, and the associated costs are significantly less. *(as someone who has started companies in both the UK and US)

Appreciate your comment, but the act of starting the business is not what I was referring to. Obviously the cost of running a small startup is effectively zero for all practical purposes.

I'm talking about the VC/accelerator-backed startups that gain traction and mindshare, solely because of "permission" (otherwise stated "a nod") from VC's or accelerators, when other, better products may exist. The very fact that this program largely eliminates/discriminates against an entire swath of entrepreneurs who DONT want to move to Silicon Valley is closer to my point.

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