• First--and most obvious--choose the right lawyer. You'll want to match his or her skills with your needs. And it helps if the lawyer has other small-business clients.
  • Determine the best fee structure for your business. Will the lawyer charge you by the hour, on a contingency or on a fixed-fee base?
  • For certain legal tasks, use paralegals instead of attorneys. This alone can save you thousands of dollars.
  • Don't call your attorney just to chat. Usually those "small talks" turn into billable hours, which can add up.
  • Finally, don't accept--negotiate. Ask for prompt-payment discounts. Even a seemingly small discount of 5 percent can, over time, be significant.

Excerpted from Get Smart: 365 Tips To Boost Your Entrepreneurial IQ