There are multiple ways to become an entrepreneur such as starting a new firm or taking over an existing one. The literature to date has largely been silent about the determinants of the preferred mode of entry. This paper attempts to fill this research gap. We argue that an individual’s personality characteristics such as growth ambition, risk attitude and inventiveness influence the preferred mode of entry intro entrepreneurship. Starting a firm from scratch can be considered as more entrepreneurial, exciting, complex, and risky than taking over an existing business with an already well-developed business model and existing customers. Environmental factors such as the administrative difficulty to set up a new venture also play important roles in the mode of entry decision. In addition, some countries like Japan or South Korea are known for their ‘no failure’ culture, which presumably discourages individuals from setting up a new business rather than taking over an existing one.