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Launch For Less Learn how to pinch your pennies during startup and build a successful business.

By Carol Tice

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paul Williams started a $4 million company that offers information-security consulting to government agencies and corporations. With clients like those, you might think a business would need impressive offices, administrative assist-ants and splashy marketing materials. But Williams, 45, launched his 4-year-old Houston firm, Gray Hat Research, for about $4,000.

Instead of hiring a lawyer who would charge $25,000 or more to incorporate the business, Williams went to and paid $1,050. He held a contest to create the company name and logo. A friend with high-speed internet hosted the company website and e-mail for free.

Williams spent $25 for business cards and $600 on some inexpensive furniture. Finally, to keep overhead low, he made the company virtual, though he plans on getting office space soon.