Prop Firm Accounts – What are They and Why Would You Use One?

Last updated March 1, 2024

Wanna risk someone else's money, for a share of your profits? That's a prop firm account.

Prop firm accounts can give you the chance to trade for real earnings, when you don't have thousands of dollars to put up as trading capital.

Prop trading has been around for decades, and recently some online prop firms have made it more accessible than ever. All you have to do is pass an evaluation - think of it like a trading tryout - in order to earn a funded account.

Day trader sitting at a desk, resting his head on his hand and smiling, with computer monitors in the background showing stock charts, trading a prop firm account.

Some Prop Firm Accounts I Like

  1. Apex Trader Funding $50K Evaluation - Always use code RAGVSGRE for the maximum Apex Trader discount. Apex is known for their payouts to customers (over $100 million reported) and for running the best promotions.
  2. Earn2Trade Trader Career Path $50K - discount should appear automatically, but if not, check the Earn2Trade discount page. Earn2trade is known for this account, which makes it possible to earn an account with a $20K static drawdown.
  3. UProfit Freedom Program - Their max current discount loads automatically with this link. This account is (at the time of this writing) the best static prop account available.

These are just a few of the best. For more - and to keep up with changing account details, features, and offers - bookmark the best prop firms page.

Of course, for all prop accounts, you have to buy a subscription for the evaluation in order to give it a shot. But the cost of an evaluation is relatively small compared to the cost of funding your own account. 

Always remember...there's no free lunch, and this isn't easy. Trading is hard, and most traders fail. Most people fail several evaluations. Many never get funded.

But if you have a sound strategy and can execute well, these trading evaluations can be a great way to access more trading capital.

Are Prop Firm Accounts Real?

You'll see if you trade with prop firms, that not all prop firm accounts are "real" accounts. Typically, people say an account is real if it's a brokerage account with money in it, trading with other market participants.

Some prop firms offer these real accounts. In fact, most do. But many of the online prop firms make you go through a "Live" or "Live Sim" account before getting a "real" account. In those cases, you can get a paid based on your simulated profits, while you work towards earning an actual brokerage account.

These simulated live accounts trade using real market data, and you can get paid real money off of them. But, your trades aren't "hitting the tape" for NQ on the CME, for example.

To hedge their risk, the prop firm may copy-trade your trades to a live account of their own, so that they make money when you make money (and lose when you lose). Or, they may choose not to do that, in which case they would pay you out of their profits as a company.

How do I Get a Free Prop Firm Account?

Hate to break it to you, but there are no truly free prop accounts. There are promotions that may give you another free evaluation after you pass one evaluation, but you still had to pay for the first one.

If you're looking to get started with a prop firm for as little as possible, wait for a firm like Apex to have a big sale (70-80 or even 90% off), and you can get started for less than $20. Apex has a lot of sales, so you should always check the current Apex discount and coupon code.


Prop firm accounts are a valid opportunity, they can be cheap, and you get to risk less of your own money than you would by funding your own account. Just understand that they're not easy, and you may be trading in a simulated trading environment even when you've qualified for a profit share.

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Daniel Larsen

Daniel created to help new and experienced traders level up. He began trading in 2002, and has spent over a decade trading professionally, for prop firms and clients. When he's not at a computer, you can find him on the ocean, in a canyon, or in the mountains.