Scholars, policy-makers and industries increasingly express their interest in the development of industrial symbiosis (IS) as a way to transition to cleaner production. Yet, many proposed IS instances never get implemented. In this article, the authors argue that lack of clear understanding on how trust develops in the context of IS may prevent the implementation of new IS initiatives. Initiating new IS typically require upfront investments, such as pipelines and waste treatment equipment, and take place in a cross-industry setting. This upfront and cross-industry setting of new IS may restrict firms in their ability to develop trust prior to the IS investments. Management literature provides a large body of literature on trust. Based on a multidisciplinary conceptual study, the aim of this paper is to synthesize and combine empirical and theoretical research from the fields of IS and management, and theorize how trust applies to the field of IS, i.e. how firms can deploy certain strategies to develop trust prior to the IS investment in the context of upfront and cross-industry IS investments. As a result, this paper introduces a conceptual IS trust framework and proposes an agenda for future research.