Purpose: Drawing on institutional logics theory, this paper aims to examine the determinants of entrepreneurs’ planning behavior in the first years of 212 Spanish new firms. Additionally, this study identifies four different planning profiles: systematic planner, early planner, late planner and non-planner. Design/methodology/approach: This study’s data structure is a (yearly) pooled cross-sectional time series. This paper investigates the determinants of planning behaviors among entrepreneurs, as well as the impact of that activity on new firm performance (i.e. employment growth). Findings: The results confirm the relevance of institutional forces in explaining the involvement of founders of new firms upon planning activities. Institutional factors, in the form of public external support seem to explain early- and systematic-planner behavior while the influence of entrepreneurial family background does so with late-planner behavior. Originality/value: The authors focus their attention on two key moments of a new venture’ life: the first year of operation and once the firm has overcome the four-year hurdle that is often used to distinguish new from established businesses. Four different patterns emerge: systematic planner (those who consistently plan over time), early planner (those who engage in planning activities in the early moments of the firm’s life but not later), late planner (those who do not plan at the beginning but end up conducting planning activities a few years later) and non-planner (those who never get involved in planning activities). This new division is an interesting additional feature of this study.