Even the smallest business is well advised to appoint a general counsel. Don't employ him or her in-house: overkill! Just form a relationship with a business lawyer, whom you keep informed about the plans and developments in your business. If a specialist is needed - e.g., tax, patents, government contracting - get your lawyer's input about whom to use or inform your lawyer whom you have appointed to give you that advice. This way, your business lawyer can coordinate their efforts to maximize effectiveness and minimize expense.
A good business lawyer knows how to (1) spot an issue important to your business that requires specialist advice, (2) frame the right input to and questions for the specialist using effective lawyer shorthand and (3) interpret the specialist's advice in the context of a thorough knowledge of your business and objectives. In this way the business lawyer, functioning as your general counsel, can achieve best results and maximum protection for you at minimum expense. By all means participate in conversations and be copied on correspondence between your business lawyer and the specialist: it's educational for you and it can save you money, because in the end, no one knows your business better than you.