Can I build out my headless site first, and then sign up for a plan when I'm ready?

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Hi, I was wondering if it's possible to build and test out my headless site first and then sign up for a plan when I'm ready. Is this possible? From what I've read, it seems the best way is to create a development store, and build/test with that. Where I get confused with that option is that all the articles I've seen on development stores seem to focus on building apps. I do not want to build an app. I want to build my front-end custom site, but use the storefront API with a development store. Is it possible to access the API for a dev store?

Once I build it out, can I just sign up for a plan and convert the development store to a full-fledged store, or do I have to transfer it to another client, which would just be me? To clarify, I am both the developer, and the person who will be starting a store.