European Business Law Review

Volume 13 (2002)

Volume 13 (2002) / Issue 3

Joseph A. McCahery, Erik P.M. Vermeulen, 'Innovative Business Forms for High Tech Start-ups in Europe' (2002) 13 European Business Law Review, Issue 3, pp. 243–266


This paper will examine the theoretical arguments for and against the importance of new business forms for the growth of start-ups. Part I briefly reviews the recent history of business organization law innovation within Europe. Our review of extant European business forms reveals that absence of new business entities (and structural reforms) may be due to status quo bias and other network effects. Turning to the importance of new business forms for the growth of start-ups, Part II addresses the question which organizational and legal structures are favourable for the growth of start-ups. It is suggested that the introduction of an efficient organizational form for start-ups is crucial to further stimulate the development of a successful venture capital market in Europe. In Part III we give consideration to the possibility of developing new business forms, based on US mechanisms, which could lead to an increase in the level of start-ups. The prospect for the emergence of new business forms depends in part on the removal of legal and non-legal barriers. The next section evaluates whether we can project a pattern of regulatory competition in the business organization context that could stimulate lawmakers to innovate by introducing new legal entities.

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ISSN: 0959-6941
ID: 5086956